Confit pork belly with cannellini beans & rosemary

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only

This classic slow-roast pork belly makes an impressive main course for a dinner party. It takes a little time but the end result is definitely worth it

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:5 hrs
    plus at least 7 hrs chilling and overnight soaking (optional)
  • Serves 4
  • A challenge

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 1039
  • fat 77g
  • saturates 32g
  • carbs 37g
  • sugars 1g
  • fibre 12g
  • protein 43g
  • salt 1.5g


  • 1kg pork belly, skin on and bones intact
  • 200g coarse sea salt
  • 6 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2l duck fat
  • 500ml vegetable oil
  • 300g dried cannellini beans
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • green salad, to serve


  1. Score the skin of the pork with a knife, then put in a shallow dish and rub all over with the sea salt, half the rosemary and all the garlic. Cover the dish with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 7 hrs, preferably overnight. While the pork is being salted, soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight.

  2. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Wash the pork well and pat dry. Heat the duck fat and half the vegetable oil in a deep, flameproof casserole dish or roasting tin until the fat has melted, then carefully lower in the pork. Cover with foil and put in the oven. Cook for about 4 hrs or until the pork is very tender.

  3. Leave the pork to cool slightly, then remove from the fat and cool completely. Alternatively, the pork can be kept in the fat in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 months. The fat itself can be reused.

  4. Remove the bones and any sinew or membrane from the pork.

  5. Press the pork between two roasting trays with heavy weights on top (such as cans). This process will shape and compact the meat so that it’s easier to portion. Leave the meat to press in the fridge for at least 2 hrs. You can leave the pork to press overnight (the beans will be fine left soaking in water for up to 48 hrs, but change the water after 24 hrs).

  6. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Drain the beans and tip into a large pan. Cover with about 5cm of fresh water. Bring to the boil, then cook over a medium heat for 40 mins until tender. Add the butter and the remaining rosemary to the beans, and cook for 5 mins until the beans and buttery water have emulsified. Season well and keep warm.

  7. Take the pork out of the fridge and cut into four equal pieces. Put a large, ovenproof non-stick sauté pan in the oven with the remaining oil and heat until almost smoking.

  8. Place the pork, skin-side down, in the hot vegetable oil (be careful as the oil will spit). Return the pork to the oven for 12 mins until heated through and the skin is crisp and golden.

  9. Divide the beans between four serving plates and top each with a piece of crispy pork. Serve with a crisp green salad.

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