1 cup (250ml) bourbon whiskey
1½ cups (375ml) malt vinegar
2 cups (500ml) water
3 cups (720g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
10 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
1 cup (350g) golden syrup
2 sticks cinnamon
4 bay leaves
1 x 2.5kg piece boneless pork belly, skin scored at 5cm intervals (this will create 6–8 pieces)
cracked black pepper, for sprinkling

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1.Preheat oven to 180°C.
2.Place the bourbon, 1 cup (250ml) of the vinegar, the water, sugar, garlic, golden syrup, cinnamon and bay leaves in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.
3.Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes or until thickened slightly.
4.Place the pork, rind-side down, in a deep-sided roasting pan. It should fit snugly.
5.Pour the sauce over the pork, cover tightly with aluminium foil and roast for 3 hours 30 minutes.
6.Turn the pork, add the remaining ½ cup (125ml) of vinegar and cover with the foil.
7.Roast for a further 30 minutes or until tender.
8.Remove the pork from the pan, skim the fat from the surface of the sauce and discard.
9.Strain the sauce into a heatproof jug.
10.Slice the pork and top with the sauce.
11.Sprinkle with pepper to serve.

Recipes and images extracted
from Christmas Feasts
and Treats
by Donna Hay,
published by 4th Estate AU.
Photography by Con Poulos
& Chris Court, styling by
Steve Pearce. $49.99.