Recipe – Roast Belly of Pork with Spiced Crackling

Pork roasts with the skin left on are quite hard to find in the US but its well worth the hunt because once cooked, the skin is magically transformed into ‘crackling’; that crispy crunchy fragrantly delicious outer layer that should accompany a proper pork roast…a traditional British Sunday lunch delicacy that everyone, especially the men, like to fight over.

Your regular supermarket will probably sell pork belly that’s already been skinned so you’ll need to seek out a good Mexican butcher …see my  last post, Rillettes of Pork, or an obliging  meat counter manager who’ll order you a piece with the skin left on.

If you prefer, leave out the crushed spices; just rub the scored skin with sea salt and place the pork on top of 3 or four flattened peeled garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary that you’ve previously soaked in water for 30 mins. This will perfume the meat without overwhelming it.

Serve this juicy roast with Perfect Roast Potatoes and perhaps Spiced Red Cabbage with Apples and your favorite applesauce.

BLOG, roast pork with crackling 010


(Serves 6)


1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

3-4 large cloves of peeled and flattened garlic

4lb (2kg) thick-end pork belly with skin

Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Crush the seeds lightly in a pestle and mortar.

First of all, make sure the skin is completely dry and if it isn’t already scored, do it yourself with a sharp knife at finger-width intervals and down to the fat underneath but not into the meat.

Rub a good sized pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper and half of the cracked seeds onto the skin, working them into the cuts.

Place the flattened garlic in the bottom of a large roasting pan then scatter the remaining cracked seeds over them; put the meat on top, skin uppermost – and roast for 30 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 360F/180C and cook for one hour and a half more, or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a skewer and the skin has crackled to a gorgeous golden brown.

If the crackling looks a bit pale, turn the heat up to its highest setting and keep checking every 5 minutes, until it’s blistered and puffy.

Remove the roast from the oven and leave it to rest uncovered in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Remove the crackling before carving the meat and break it up into equally fair pieces to avoid arguments.

Belly pork needs to be sliced thickly in order to be fully appreciated.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
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7 Responses to Recipe – Roast Belly of Pork with Spiced Crackling

  1. Mike Brown says:

    Where can I order this from?

    • Mike – if you can’t get your local supermarket to leave the skin on, go to a Mexican butcher and ask them for ‘Falda’ – pork belly, skin left on. They may have it in the freezer and they’ll cut it to order. best of luck!

  2. LoveLife says:

    Another market to buy Pork Belly is at the Filipino Supermarket. Bring your truck! lol.
    I go there and sure thing!

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