Roast Pork Belly

10:00 pm on 9 October 2004

(Serves 4)


  • 2 kg piece of pork belly
  • ½ C salt
  • 4 tbsp smoked paprika (or ordinary paprika if this is not available)
  • 5 star anise, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds crushed
  • 3 bay leaves


Finely score the pork skin with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the flesh. The closer the scoring, the better the crackling will be.

Put the remaining ingredients in a large container. Pour in enough cold water to be able to cover the pork and whisk to dissolve the salt.

Add the pork, skin-side down, and soak for 24 hours and up to 36 hours.

To roast, remove the pork from the brine and rinse. Place flesh-side down in a parchment-lined roasting tray and add one litre of water. Roast in a preheated 150ºC oven for two to three hours. Timing will depend on the thickness of the pork. It is cooked when a fork pushed into the flesh comes away easily. When the pork is ready, turn the oven to 200ºC and leave for 8 to 10 minutes to crisp the crackling.

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