Almond milk-braised pork belly with peas, watercress & samphire

Almond milk-braised pork belly with peas, watercress & samphire

Yuki Sugiura

This may sound like an unusual combination, but braising in almond milk helps to keep the pork moist and tender. It also makes a delicious gravy once the dish is finsished. Be sure to heat the almond milk before adding to the pork, as this helps to avoid splitting, and to brush off any excess salt before serving.


Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg rolled and tied pork belly, skin scored
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra
750ml unsweetened almond milk
1 small bunch sage
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
pinch chilli flakes
150g fresh or frozen peas
2 shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g samphire
1 small bag watercress, (about 100g)


  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C. Rub the pork with the olive oil and place in a snug roasting tray. Sprinkle the skin with plenty of sea salt and roast for 25 minutes until the skin starts to blister.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and continue to cook for 1 hour. Pour the almond milk into a saucepan with the sage, fennel seeds, bay leaves and chilli flakes and heat very gently. Once the pork has been cooking for its hour, spoon out any fat from the tray, then tip in the hot almond milk, pouring all around the meat but not on top of it. Return to the oven for a further hour – it’s ready when the meat pulls away easily.
  3. Finally, raise the oven temperature to its highest setting and cook for about 10 minutes until the pork skin has crackled all over. Remove from the tray (reserving the almondy juices) and allow to rest on a carving board, covered with foil.
  4. Cook the peas in a small pan of boiling water for a few minutes (longer if using fresh peas), then drain. In a large frying pan, heat a little oil and gently fry the shallots until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and samphire and sauté, stirring frequently, until the samphire is just tender, about 4–5 minutes. Add the peas and watercress and cook until the watercress has just wilted.
  5. Strain the almond milk into a jug to remove the herbs and spices, then pour back into the tray. Set this over a low heat and simmer until saucy. The milk may split slightly, but don’t worry too much about this as it will still taste delicious.
  6. Brush any excess salt off the pork and carve into thick slices. Serve with the vegetables and almond milk gravy.
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