British Main course Pork Starters

Pork belly with minestrone

This is a twist on a classic minestrone using pork belly, its a Jason Atherton recipe and really stunning topped with a poached egg.



Cooking time

5 hours


800g skinless belly pork
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 courgette, finely diced
1 stick of celery finelty diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 sprig of rosemary and thyme
1 bay leaf
75g dried spaghetti, broken into short lengths
1.5 litres of chicken stock
1 tsp white wine vinegar
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to season

First cut the pork into 33 or 4 large pieces, removing any excess fat (it needs to be skinless).  Pan fry the pieces on a high heat until the meat is browned on all sides before setting aside on a large plate.

Lower the heat and add the onion, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary cooking this until the onion is soft, this will take about 5 mins.  Add the chicken stock and reduce to a simmer before putting the pork back in, making sure the meat is covered with liquid.  Cook this over a low heat for 90 mins before switching the heat off and allowing it to cool with the meat still in the sauce.

When cool remove the meat with a slotted spoon and place in a large frying pan, put a dinner plate on top and weigh this down (I used cans of beans) for about 3 hours.

In the meantime prepare the cooking liquid by passing through a fine sieve.  Add lots of ice so that the fat comes together and remove as much of the fat as possible.  Sieve again into a clean pan and then place in the fridge while the meat is being flattened.

When ready to cook remove the cooking liquor from the fridge and give it a final skim to remove any fat on the surface.  Bring to the boil and then add the courgette, celery, vinegar and carrot.  Cook for a couple of mins then add the spaghetti pieces.    Cut the pork into bite sized chunks and pan fry over a high heat until browned all over.

Add the meat to the pan and warm through while you poach the eggs.  When ready to serve spoon into a soup bowl and top with the egg

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