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Prep Time 15 minutes - Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes - Serves 5

This is a lovely alternative to my normal beef and pork ragú recipe. The pork belly works so well, especially with the fennel and cider.

If you love spaghetti Bolognese or slow-cooked ragú you’ll love this recipe too.

(You will also find this recipe on page 68 of my book Richard’s Family Favourites click here)


  • 900 g of boneless pork belly, rind removed.

  • 1 tbsp of plain flour.

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced.

  • 1 medium onion, diced.

  • 1 medium carrot, diced.

  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced.

  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only.

  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée.

  • 300 ml of cider.

  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes.

  • 1 chicken stockpot.

  • 1 tbsp of honey.


  1. Slice the pork into cubes roughly 3 cm x 3 cm and mix in a bowl with the flour and season. Then get a large ovenproof dish over a high heat, add a splash of oil and brown the pork for around 5 minutes. You want to get a nice bit of colour on it and build a crust, once done place to one side. I recommend that you don’t do all the pork at once, do half at a time.

  2. Now that the pork is browned off and sitting to one side, turn the heat to low and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add all the veg, season and soften for 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée and cook out for 2 minutes.

  3. Return the pork along with any juices back to the dish. Mix well and leave for a minute. Turn the heat to high, add the cider and reduce by half.

  4. Add the tin tomatoes, the stockpot, the honey, and mix well. Fill one of the empty tins of tomatoes with water, swirl it around and pour into the other one then pour into the ragú. Cover with a lid leaving a slight gap and pop into a preheated oven set at 160℃ . Cook for 3 hours or till the meat falls apart when pressed against the side of the dish with a fork. Check on it every 45 minutes or so and to give it a stir. If it looks like it’s reducing too much add a little more water. You will know it’s ready once you have a nice thick sauce and the meat just falls apart. Once out of the oven give it a check for seasoning, adjust accordingly and mix in some fresh herbs.

  5. Serve with your favourite pasta.

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