Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Ultimate Pork Belly

Crispy skinned pork belly with celeriac mash and caramelised apples.

Remember that when you buy pork belly that it will shrink when you cook it by as much as 1/3rd! So when you're thinking "that's massive!", it's actually the perfect size.

Singe the hairs off that swine! Then score the skin and rub salt and cracked sechuan peppercorns in it - don't need to be gentle get in there. 2 hours in the fridge.

While it's in the fridge you can get some Braising Liquid ready (good for about 1.5kg of pork belly);

1 onion
4 clove garlic
1 stick cinammon
2 cloves
5 star anise
pinch of sechuan peppercorns and black peppercorns
handful of juniper berries
1L of chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme and rosemary

Sweat off the onions and garlic, add the stock and the spices. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.

Time to roast; dry off the skin, rub with olive oil in the oven (roasting pan) for 30 minutes @ 220 degrees, skin side down. After that, pull it out, carefully flip it over, and pour in the braising liquid just before it reaching the skin (because that's the part you want crispy obviously). Back in the oven @ 190 degrees. When the skin is crispy (probably about 1 1/2 hours) it's cooked. if you see the liquid drying out just add water to it (or else it'll burn your pan, and your belly; and will end up looking more like the picture below).

Pull it out let it rest for 15 minutes.

Save that juice from the bottom of the pan! Add some black vinegar (from asian grocers), red wine vinegar, maple syrup (or honey) and some mandarin peel and juice (if not in season, orange will do) - reduce that down by at least 1/2 and you have sexy sauce to cover your crispy belly in!

Pork Belly Plating: image courtesy of Steph @ rasberricupcakes

PS: Get your cleaning gloves out, because your oven will need a good scrub after this juicy version of crispy pork belly.

PSS: It keeps for up 2 days in the fridge! To 'twice-cook' your pork belly; just reheat in a roasting pan with water and a touch of leftover sauce and you have a restaurant quality 'twice cooked'; as you see in many menus around the country.


  1. Mmm have heard good things about this pork :) thanks for finally coming clean with the recipe!

  2. Thanks for this recipe and doh about the oven cleaning but something this good must be worth it!

  3. Try it while the winter weather is still around! :D with a lot of mash mmmmm so definately worth it...

  4. Mmmm so have to try this sometime.... unless you feel like making more for me XD?

  5. wow, love the crispy top. I love pork and this recipe is right up my alley.