Three-hour pork belly on a chopping board

Three-hour pork belly

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(77 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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…


  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').

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
7th May, 2017
Are those temps for a fan oven? Thanks.
11th Feb, 2015
This is such a great recipe and can withstand a few "user errors". I used 1.35 Kg of pork shoulder (from Aldi) and left out the garlic as my wife is allergic to it. I miss-read the marinade step and put the marinade on the skin too, which I then had to scrape off before putting it into the oven! I'd do that again though because the crackling was even more flavoursome compared with the crackling I usually obtain. I also forgot to add the lemon juice until half-way through roasting (you can imagine that I was expecting a disaster by the time this meat came out of the oven!). Like "Snigs" the meat was looking done enough and so I didn't crank up the temperature for the final half hour (but it was a smaller piece of meat than is used in the recipe). The result - brilliant. The crackling could have been crispier (but that was my mistake) but the flavour was great and the meat very tender. Like others, I also made the red cabbage and apple. That was great too - I only wish I'd bought a bigger joint of meat to use it all up - you'll need a massive deep frying pan and four adults with very hearty appetites to polish it all off. I'd would have liked to make a gravy from the juices but they were fairly carbonised by the time the meat had finished cooking.
21st Jan, 2015
This was the best tasting pork belly I have cooked. The crackling was perfect.
Mary G
10th Jan, 2015
What a wonderful recipe. Wowed my guests on New Years Day. Gorgeous succulent meat and to die for crackling. Very forgiving as well as I omitted to ask the butcher to bone it and had to do it myself which meant that I was well below the weight for 6 people. No problem,there was plenty to go round. Definitely will do this again.
9th Nov, 2014
cooked this last night for a dinner party and came out very well. I think broadly its a very good recipe and the marination rub is excellent. The temp times will vary though according to each oven so would recommend people to use common sense. I roasted it at high temp as per recipe for first 30 min, reduced it to 150 for 2 hours after that (I have a fan oven). It looked pretty cooked and roasted already so did not do the 30 min of final blasting, instead finished it off under the grill to get the crispy crackling which I so wanted. Had to watch the grill the whole time with oven door open ofcourse as it burns pretty quickly. The pork came out looking very professional and was incredibly juicy and tender.
20th Aug, 2014
We have also followed the suggested tip 'braised red cabbage with apple' and absolutely love that too!
20th Aug, 2014
Cooked this now several times and we all absolutely love it and it's so easy too. Would really recommend it!
20th May, 2014
I served this for a dinner party I threw and it went down brilliantly. I marinaded the pork overnight and the flavour was lovely. It was also the most tender and juicy pork ever. This is certainly a favourite recipe now. Although, my crackling didn't crackle at all, so I cut it off and nuked it while the pork was resting. Any tips as to why it didn't crackle so beautifully with the pork like everyone else's?
13th Jan, 2014
I made this recipe yesterday. It was my first time ever making pork belly. I had searched the internet for recipes, and this one stood out as easy and doable. The results were AMAZING!!! The crackling was fabulous, and the pork itself was juicy and delicious, probably the best pork I've ever tasted. My guests were equally impressed with the results. I also made the red cabbage dish and everyone loved it. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who's apprehensive because it's "their" first time!
cookie-queen's picture
4th Dec, 2013
Really yummy! Definitely going to make this again. Next time I'm going to try it with the red cabbage.


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?