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Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Garlic and Mustard Cream

March 24, 2010

So this is the last recipe of this Experimental Wednesday #1 session… and I might add, the most comforting. There is nothing quite like a nice roast with crackling.

In fact, there is nothing more moorish than lovely, crunchy crackling – to me it’s not perfect unless there is the odd bit of the chewy, sticky stuff; real marmite! I was at a party once where the host laid on a proper hog roast… it would be fair to say that I ate my body weight in crackling.

All you have to do is Google “crackling” to realise there are a gazillion ‘perfect crackling’ recipes, tips and tricks. I’ve tried them all (selflessly for you, dear reader) and the secret is quite simple: salt – and lots of it.

Jim McJim also suggested that his oven may have had something to do with it. You see, as pretty as his brushed aluminium, spider-burner range is, the bottom element in the oven is kaput. Meaning that all the heat was eminating from the top element, directly on to the skin.

Now, when you get your roasting joint – in this case belly – ask your butcher to score the skin. Alternatively, I find a Stanley knife is sharp enough to score just through to the fat.

This will serve 4 comfortably.


  • 800 g Pork Belly – scored and boned
  • Olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Salt
  • 300 ml Cream – single or double, depending on your diet!
  • Whole grain Mustard
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves will do
  • White Wine

Get cooking

Preheat the oven to 200° C.

Dry the skin of the joint thoroughly. Now rub large pinches of salt over the skin and well into the scores. Be generous; I will end up using about a tsp or even 2. Rub the meat side with some olive oil, just a little mind to get the roasting started.

Put the pork in the oven and after 15 to 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 160° C. You want this to happen quickly, so open the door if necessary. It will take 2.5 hours to 3 hours for this to cook. We want the fat to be rendered right down so that it soaks into the meat and imparts that rich flavour, whilst keeping it moist.

When you get the meat out, let it rest – this gives it a chance to think about what it’s doing. It will loosen up, the texture and tenderness will improve and it lets that flavour ‘mature’. Give it a minimum of 20 minutes – but I put a bit of foil over it and leave it at least 30 minutes.

For the sauce; this is a Jim McJim creation, so there may be a bit of an update to this section once he’s back from the US!

He sliced up the garlic and sweated them in a little butter over a low heat. [edit…] First added a glass full of wine and reduced it by half.  Then added the cream, keep it on a low heat and let it infuse with all that garlicy goodness. To be honest, the longer you leave it, the better. Finally, add the mustard. I haven’t include quantities for this as it’s personal; I would recommend a big tablespoon, but you may want two, or a tiny little teaspoon; you’re the boss! Stir it through and check for seasoning.

We served this with some sauteed green cabbage and (the more traditional) fondant potatoes. Note that the cream sauce is very rich and you don’t need too much. Enjoy and treasure that crackling; who knows when you’ll next get some this good!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 1:16 am

    Roasted pork belly is at the top of my must-make list – this sounds delicious, especially with the garlicky-cream sauce. 8-)

  2. March 31, 2010 8:38 pm

    We have something in common- We love pig, kind of goes with my territory of being from Texas…

    Chef E

    • April 9, 2010 9:16 am

      Hi Chef E – thanks for the comment… Pig is the way forward, no question! Been enjoying your blogs greatly, too: lots of good stuff on both of them!

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