Three-hour pork belly on a chopping board

Three-hour pork belly

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(66 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 3 hrs Plus marinating

Easy

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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Ingredients

  • 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

    Thyme

    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
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

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

Method

  1. Toast 2 tbsp fennel seeds and 1 tsp black 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 leaves from 1 small bunch of thyme and 3 garlic cloves to make a paste.

  2. Mix with 2 tbsp olive oil and rub all over the flesh of a 1½ - 2kg piece of boneless pork belly. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

  3. 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.

  4. After this time, squeeze 2 lemons over the skin and turn the heat down to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Roast for a further 2 hrs.

  5. 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.

  6. 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').

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Comments, questions and tips

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clairehh
5th Jun, 2011
5.05
Absolutely fantastic. Why haven't I discovered belly pork before?
mimiskitchen
6th May, 2011
4.05
I have cooked this twice now and the flavours are very tasty, my only criticism is that the underside of the pork goes as crispy as the top - so I think next time I make this I will try filling the baking tray with some water, wine or stock to steam the underside and hopefully keep it moist. I serve mine with roasted new potatoes, the red cabbage, cauliflower cheese mash and gravy.
oldnick21
21st Mar, 2011
5.05
This was absolutly gorgeous and will definitly be cooked again, made gravy with it as well and the marinade in the gravy was great
drfabio
5th Feb, 2011
5.05
We had this as a (very!) belated Christmas meal last week and it was amazing. I don't think I'll ever cook pork another way!
jponter
28th Sep, 2010
5.05
Absolutely loved this, perfect crackling and super tasty.
guiness
27th Sep, 2010
5.05
Had this for our sunday dinner last night and oh my word was it beautiful. The meat and crackling were amazing and the red cabbage was the best i have ever eaten. I served it with roast potatoes, apple sauce and gravy. Can't wait to cook it again.

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