Three-hour pork belly

Three-hour pork belly

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(54 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 3 hrs Plus marinating


Serves 6

Still a relatively cheap cut, pork belly yields beautiful soft flesh and crisp crackling when slow-roasted

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal585
  • fat44g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs2g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein45g
  • salt0.83g
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  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch thyme, leaves only


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1½ -2kg/3lb 5oz-4lb 8oz piece boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • 2 lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…


  1. Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a couple of mins. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, the thyme and garlic to make a paste. Mix with 2 tbsp olive oil and rub all over the flesh of the pork. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

  2. When ready to cook, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt and 1 tbsp more olive oil. Sit on a wire rack in a roasting tin and roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30 mins. After this time, squeeze the lemons over the skin and turn the heat down to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Roast for a further 2 hrs. Finally, turn the heat back up to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7 and give it a final blast for another 30 mins or so, to finish the crackling. Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 mins. Carve up into chunks or slices and serve with the braised cabbage (below) and bay-infused potatoes (see 'Goes well with', right).

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th May, 2018
Burnt! Far too long in oven. Waste of time and money. And the fan temps are the wrong way round. Even like that 3 hrs is way too long
2nd Jan, 2018
I think you have your fan/gas temps back to front. 180° fan would be way hotter than 160° gas.
9th Jul, 2017
Really, really good, pretty much did what it said on the box! Had a huge piece of pork belly, so lowered the temp and increased the cooking time for the middle part, but stuck to the rest as per recipe! I left uncovered in fridge overnight. Meat was succulent, fat rendered down and crackling sublime. Will def be doing again.
21st Jan, 2017
I did not have fennel seeds and much as I think you should follow the recipe posted to see whether it is good I tried Caraway seeds instead (given that they both have that aniseed base). I imagine the flavour was similar and I have to say it was lovely, a total winner! The crackling had a slightly lemon flavour to it which was really nice. I would definitely use this recipe again, it's a winner.
Camille Livera
2nd Nov, 2016
I often change recipes without having tried the original. I stuck to this recipe given the reviews and it was a hit on Melbourne Cup day 2016 when I had family over. The best pork belly recipe I've cooked to date.
Mandy Connie
26th Sep, 2016
OMG this was amazing. And do the cabbage it was really good.
9th Sep, 2016
WOW!, I was reading the many great comments below and noticed that a few people had changed things up a little to make it better and wondered why?. I have never cooked Pork Belly before tonight and have always been a little afraid of trying to be honest. Tonight i decided to cook the Pork Belly exactly to the recipe above and i have to say... this has got to be the best pork belly i have ever had, better than anything i have had in a restaurant. The meat was tender, the marinade made the pork so so tasty and the crackling was out of this world. thank you for such a great recipe.
29th Aug, 2016
Delicious. I didn't marinade it for long at all (only an hour) but it was still delicious. The fennel and pepper gave it a lovely flavour. It was the first time I have ever - in twenty-plus years of serious cooking - had really successful crackling! I made a gravy from the juices under the pork - I added some white wine, sage and half a teaspoon of honey, which brought out the flavours of the pork well. I roasted potatoes which was fine, but I would actually recommend mash. Home grown vegs were great with this including Savoy cabbage, carrots and French beans.
29th Jun, 2016
This is absolutely delicious. I have made it several times for all sorts of people and everyone has LOVED it. Highly recommended. I reduced the oven temp to 160 for the middle period and then turned it up again at the end, but my oven runs a bit hot so I would say keep checking it. Also I kept tapping the crackling to check ti was crisping up - if not, turn the oven up higher. YUM!!
2nd Jun, 2016
Made this tonight, started at 3:30 and was ready by 6:30. Followed the recipe pretty much exactly except i reduced the 2 hour cook time temp to 160c and cranked the end cook time up to 230c. The meat was gorgeous, it literally fell apart and become almost creamy when squished between fingers. Crackling was perfect and so damn crisp. This was my first time eating pork belly and i was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn't over fatty as most people claim (maybe i got a leaner cut). One thing to note is the residual oil in the baking tray can smoke a little toward the end so warn those who like to whinge about that kind of thing and take care to let the smoke/steam etc escape first when opening the door before poking your head in. Saving this recipe for sure.


24th Jun, 2015
Should the skin also be marinated or not?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jan, 2017
Hi there, thanks for your question. No you don't need to rub the marinade on the skin.
21st Jan, 2017
No, just the flesh.
Slow Cook
21st Mar, 2014
Hi, How much would I need to knock off the cooking time if I was cooking 750g pork belly ? Thanks for any help.
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Mar, 2014
Hi there. We'd reduce the initial and final 30 minute slots to 20 minutes, and the middle cooking time to 1hr 30.
25th May, 2014
If you deglaze the roasting tin for the gravy use a sweetish cider, otherwise white wine with a little red currant jelly. This helps counter the bitterness of the lemons. Also, butternut squash roasted with big cloves of garlic tastes lovely with this as well.