Pressed pork belly with marzipan, butternut and ground elder

Pork belly is a very common cut of meat often used within the UK for a variety of different meals. The beauty of this meat is that it is great to cook slowly, and this take on this cut of meat is a great way to start finding your passion for cooking.

Serves 6


  • ½ a Pork belly
  • Dried marzipan
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 50g table salt
  • Ground elder
  • 200g butter
  • Sea salt
  • 500ml white chicken stock


  1. Trim down the pork belly, careful to remove any bone or gristle.
  2. Dissolve the 50g of table salt with 1 litre of water in a bowl, large enough for the water and belly to both be able to fit into.
  3. Place the belly in the brine for around 6 hours.
  4. Once 6 hours is up and the belly has finished brining, wash the belly with tap water and dry.
  5. Next place the belly in a deep oven tray and cover with vegetable oil.
  6. Place in the oven at 110 or gas mark 3 for 4 hours or until tender, it should cut like butter.
  7. Next prepare the butternut textures, firstly peel the squash and then peel the solid pieces to ‘sheets’ like lasagne, lay flat on a tray and season with salt and oil.
  8. Next take the trimmings and place in a sauce pan, slowly start sweating off the squash adding white stock until tender add 100g of butter and hen blend until a smooth puree, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Finally take the seeds and wash off any butternut pulp, drain and then roast the seeds in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp and golden.
  10. Once the belly is cooked, remove from the oil and leave to drain and rest. Once drained, cut the belly into 6 pieces and save for later.
  11. To finish the dish take the belly and render in a pan until golden and crisp. At the same time warm the butternut, and add the ground elder into the pork render and wilt until tender.
  12. Arrange on the plate and finish by grating the dried marzipan over the dish.