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Slow-roast rolled pork belly

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
Our October 2010 Good Food magazine cover recipe in all its crispy, crackly, melt-in-the-mouth glory

  • Prep: 10 mins
    Cook: 3 hrs
    Plus marinating
  • Serves 6
  • More effort
  • Serves 6
  • More effort
  • Calories 585
  • Carbohydrates 2
  • Saturated Fat 16
  • Sugar 0
  • Protein 45
  • Fat 44
  • Fibre 0
  • Salt 0.83

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 585
  • Carbohydrates 2
  • Saturated Fat 16
  • Sugar 0
  • Protein 45
  • Fat 44
  • Fibre 0
  • Salt 0.83

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ - 2kg 3lb 5oz - 4lb 8oz piece pork belly (skin on) cut from the slimmer half, skin scored
  • 2 lemons

Method

  1. Toast the spices in a dry frying pan for a couple of mins. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, the garlic and half the thyme to make a paste, then mix with 2 tbsp olive oil.

  2. Lay the pork on a board skin-side down. Rub the herb mix all over the flesh then scatter with the remaining whole thyme leaves. Neatly roll the meat into a joint surrounded by the skin then use butchers' string to tie the joint tightly at regular intervals to hold the joint together. 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 remaining olive oil. Put it on a wire rack 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 crisping of the skin. Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 mins. Carve up into thick slices and serve with your favourite roast dinner accompaniments.

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