Cherry Braised Pork Belly with Cilantro Pistachio Chermoula - West Side Beef
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Cherry Braised Pork Belly with Cilantro Pistachio Chermoula

This pork belly smells and tastes sensational, and is so simple to make.

The flavour combination of oranges, wine and cherries is a perfect compliment to the smooth and tender richness of slow cooked pork belly.

I like to serve this pork with roasted sliced red and green bell peppers and wedges of yellow onion. You can make this by tossing prepared veggies into a pan with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Roast in the oven for a half hour—just before the pork is ready. Add a simple arugula salad dressed with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to the menu and dinner is done.


  • To make the Pork:
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 lb piece pork belly with rind
  • To make the Chermoula:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Grate the zest from one orange and set aside to use later for chermoula. Squeeze juice from both oranges. You’ll need approximately ½ cup in total.
  2. Pour wine and orange juice into a small saucepan and set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Stir cherries into the hot mixture and set aside until liquid has cooled completely.
  3. When the cherry mixture has cooled completely. Stir in garlic, shallot, salt, pepper and coriander. Place pork belly (see note) into marinade and seal bag removing as much air from bag as possible before sealing bag closed with an elastic band, or place bacon so that if fits snugly into a deep-sided dish and pour over marinade to coat the whole piece well and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight, turning the pork once or twice if possible.
  4. Remove pork from refrigerator and set aside just until it comes to room temperature.
  5. Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer pork to a roasting pan, skin side up, and pour the marinade onto the pork to evenly coat. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 1½ hours then remove foil and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  6. While the pork is roasting, make Cilantro Pistachio Chermoula: Add the reserved orange zest into a medium size bowl.
  7. Pour olive oil and lemon juice into bowl. Stir in cilantro, pistachios, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, and salt.
  8. To serve, cut pork into slices ¼-inch thick and arrange on a platter. Use a slotted spoon to lift cherries from pan and scatter over pork. Serve chermoula sauce dolloped on top of the pork or in a small bowl on the side.

Note: If you’d like the skin of the pork to come out crispy, use a serrated knife to score the rind in a ¼-inch wide cross-hatch pattern before marinating.

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