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Crispy Crackling Pork Belly

  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Serves: 6
  • Cooking Time: 190 mins
  • Ready Time: 200 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy

1.5 – 2kg kg piece of friendly farmed Pork Belly
4 Star Anise, left whole
2 Tbsp Fennel seeds
1 Tbsp Sea Salt flakes
2 fresh Bay Leaves
1 Cinnamon stick broken in two
300mls Verjuice (maybe a little more) – or well constructed cheap Riesling that has been boiled to remove the alcohol.
1 Vanilla Pod cut open lengthwise
1-2 crisp Granny Smith apples sliced into thick ring (skin left on – can decore if you like but not necessary)
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C.
Boil a domestic jug full of water.
If using Riesling – Bring the Riesling to the boil for 5 minutes then turn off to rest.
Remove the pork from packaging and dry with a paper towel. Bring to room temperature. Score the skin of the belly as finely as you can, being careful not to pierce the flesh.
Line a roasting dish just large enough to accomodate your pork with two layers of thick baking paper.
Spread the apple slices over the base of the dish and place the Star Anise, Cinnamon and Vanilla randomly on top.
Place the Pork Belly on a cake drying rack in your kitchen sink, skin side up. As soon as the jug has boiled, pour the boiling water all over the pork and you will see the scoring open up. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.
place the Belly skin side up on top of the apple slices. Combine Sea Salt and Fennel Seeds and sprinkle liberally over the pork.
Rub in with your hands. Pour the warm Riesling or Verjuice around the pork in the dish. Try not to wet the skin. You should have enough to cover the meaty thickness of the pork but not to drown it.
Roast in an oven at 150°C for about 3 hours. Timing will depend on the thickness of the belly but it will take at least two half hours. You will know it is ready when a fork pushed into the flesh comes away easily.
When the belly is cooked increase oven temp to 200°C and leave for an additional 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the pork as the crackling goes crispy but do not let it burn.

Remove from the oven and allow the Pork to rest while you create the most amazing Jus.

Mash the remaining apple slices amongst the roasting juice then strain the whole lot through a sieve.

Return the apple thickened jus to a pot allow to reduce slightly before serving with the Pork.

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