Fennel and black pepper roasted pork belly

Fennel and black pepper roasted pork belly

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg boneless pork belly
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3/4-1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
200ml white wine
200ml Chicken and veal stock
2 teaspoons butter, softened and mixed with 2 teaspoons flour, if needed
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Check the pork belly for any small bones and remove. Score the skin, rub all over with the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, rubbing the salt into the scoring, which will help with the crackling.
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and dry-fry the spices together until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Remove from the heat and allow the spices to cool, then grind them to a coarse powder using a pestle and mortar or small bowl of a food processor.
  3. Heat the oven to 250ºC.
  4. Rub the spices over the non-skin sides of the pork belly and place, skin side up, in a roasting tin just big enough to fit the meat.
  5. Roast in the oven for 60–75 minutes to allow the skin to start to crackle, taking care that the crackling does not burn; if it appears to be over-darkening, turn down the oven (sooner than suggested in the following step).
  6. Lower the oven setting to 150ºC, pour the wine and stock into the tin and roast for 1 hour. Finally, turn the heat down to 120ºC and continue to cook until the pork is tender and the skin has crackled, about another 1 hour. Don’t let the liquid in the roasting tin dry out; if necessary, add a little water during the cooking.
  7. When the pork is cooked, a fork will slide easily in and out of it. Remove the pork to a board and leave to rest in a warm place for 10–15 minutes before carving into thick slices.
  8. If you want to make a sauce, while the meat is resting pour the roasting tin juices into a bowl and allow to separate. Skim off the fat and taste the juices. Strain the juices and, if necessary, pour them back into the roasting tin and reduce a little to concentrate the flavour. The sauce can be thickened with a little beurre manié (the butter and flour mixture) if required. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Delicious served with roasted leeks with lemon and pine nuts.


  • Salt and spice roasted pork belly: Omit the fennel and mustard seeds. Using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, pound ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1 star anise, 2 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon rock salt to a coarse powder. Use this spice mix to rub into the pork and proceed as for the main recipe.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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