Three-hour pork belly on a chopping board

Three-hour pork belly

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(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
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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…


  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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2nd Feb, 2012
I have cooked this three times and it is fabulous. Easy to cook and impressive for a dinner party. Yum!
19th Jan, 2012
This turned out so gorgeous. Easy and fun to make and the results were well worth the wait. I also made the red cabbage and that went down well too.
pennyclark's picture
4th Dec, 2011
Wow. That was the first time I ever cooked pork belly and it was brilliant. Will make again.
25th Nov, 2011
This is the tastiest Pork I have ever eaten! I scored the pork itself as well as the fat so that the garlic mixture could soak right into the meat. I rubbed extra salt on the fat so that I got extra crispy crackling too. We have had this three Sundays in a row as it is so good! Excellent recipe!
30th Aug, 2011
So tasty and soft, with the crispiest crackling. Will definitely make again maybe without the fennel seeds. Well worth the effort.
17th Jul, 2011
Absolutely fantastic. The family want this one as a regular now! I used garlic, rosemary and olive oil to rub into meat instead and was still fantastic!
5th Jun, 2011
Absolutely fantastic. Why haven't I discovered belly pork before?
6th May, 2011
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.
21st Mar, 2011
This was absolutly gorgeous and will definitly be cooked again, made gravy with it as well and the marinade in the gravy was great
5th Feb, 2011
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!


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