Slow Roasted Pork Belly Recipe

by katerina on April 2, 2010

I have eaten Pork Belly at several restaurants and absolutely loved it, but never seen it for sale — until last week that is. So armed with a massive slab of pork belly (which I promptly cut in half) I had to decide what to do with it!

Roasted Pork Belly

From my research, the key with pork belly, as with any tough cut of meat, seems to be long slow cooking times. However, because pork belly has this beautiful layer of fat on the top, recipes usually call for searing it off first or cooking it with the fat exposed to the heat of the oven so it can get lovely and crispy.

In the end I chose the simplest roast recipe for my first attempt and was quite satisfied with the results. Although it fell apart somewhat when I cut it and the skin was a little too crispy, the flavour of the meat and the gravy were unbelievable. I may never make gravy without pork fat again. Seriously.

Next time, I would cook the pork for slightly less time, (in my case three hours were sufficient but I let it go 4). If you are willing to spend a bit more time try this braised pork belly recipe.

Now, once you have made this, you may be looking for more pork belly recipes for the leftovers, here are a few ideas:
Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps with an Apple and Fennel Slaw
Tortellini with Pork Belly, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Print Recipe

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

(serves 2)
Adapted from Cook with Jamie

1 lb pork belly
salt
pepper
fresh thyme
chili flakes
1 onion
2 large carrots
handful garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 cup white wine
flour

Preheat oven to 450F. Chop carrots and onion into big pieces. Place in a roasting pan with garlic. Chop up a about a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and combine with chili flakes, salt and pepper in a bowl. Any remaining thyme sprigs can be tossed in with the vegetables.

Place the pork belly on a cutting board skin side up. With a sharp knife make parallel lengthwise cuts about 1 cm away from each other through the skin and deep into the fat but not enough to penetrate the meat. Rub the spice mixture all over the meat, getting in between the cuts of fat and on the bottom. Place pork belly fat side up on the vegetables.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes then turn the temperature down to 325F. Cook for another 30 minutes at 325F. Remove from the oven and pour off any excess fat. Add wine and return to the oven for another hour.

Baste the pork with the juices. Then remove the vegetables and wine to a tall container. Put the pork back in the oven for another hour or until crispy on the top and fork tender. Meanwhile skim the fat from the vegetableswine mixture and put in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce until thickened. Sprinkle in ~1T flour and whisk together. Cook for another 15 minutes and then strain and discard all the vegetables, pressing them to get out all the juices. Keep warm, stirring occasionally until pork is ready.


Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 180 minutes | Total Time:130 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 620



{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Eleanor Hoh (wokstar) April 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Looks amazingly tender and scrumptious, love this cut but cannot get in Miami. Hakka (village where my dad comes from) use this cut to make mui choy pork (preserved veg stewed in dark soy till very tender).

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Carole in Queens April 3, 2010 at 6:11 am

Katerina,
Pork belly has been all the rage in top end restaurants here in NYC now for some time and it seems that star chefs are always competing with each other making it. Pork “cheeks” is another rage. I, like you, however, have never seen either cut offered except in the Asian stores in Flushing where I occasionally shop with a friend, and in both cases, they are frozen and not marked as to their origins. Curious where you found this cut and how it was marked. Looks terrific though. I love anything PORK. And love your site. Thanks.

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Elaine from Cookware Help April 3, 2010 at 7:05 am

Your pork belly looks beautiful here! The recipe is quite easy, just takes some time due to the slow cooking. I will try this definitely very soon.

To answer your question, yes, I have many experiences in cooking pork belly. The most common way of cooking it is by Lechon roasting. Iā€™ll just rub the meat with mixed seasoning of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Bake in preheated oven 450 degrees for 1 1/2 hours ā€“ skin up. Then flip over (skin down) and cook for another 40 minutes. then put slit slices on the meat in 3 parts and flip over for the final time (skin up). Cook for another 10 minutes.

This is usually sliced and serve with liver gravy sauce. Try it!

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James April 3, 2010 at 7:19 am

If you know anywhere that actually butchers their meat in the store, you can just ask for this piece. It may not be in the display case, but butchers are usually more than willing to sell as much as they can from one animal.

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katerina April 3, 2010 at 8:57 am

Eleanor – I had a cod and tofu hot pot yesterday that was flavoured with small pieces of pork belly. What a nice surprise.

Carole – I was actually just lucky I think. The pork was even semi local (100 miles)!

Elaine – great advice I will have to try this, glad to know you do cook it with the skin on.

James – very good point, I haven’t ever searched it out before, though I might now.

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Sylvia April 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

I love pork belly and your recipe looks great! My family eats pork belly a lot – we usually grill quarter inch slices (on a griddle or George Foreman type appliance) and wrap it in lettuce with a spicy herb salad or kimchi. It’s very quick and satisfying! The George Foreman is great because the fat drips off the meat, leaving yummy pork flavor!

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Peasant Girl April 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

Ah!!! Nothing is better than pork. Nothing.

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Crepes of Wrath April 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm

My mouth is watering!

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kathy April 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Yeah.. Slow cooking will make it so soft and chewy plus he flavors will be absorb and thats really savory. However grilled pork belly is great too. :-)

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katerina April 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Sylvia – that sounds amazing!

Peasant Grl – pork isn’t my favorite thing but I am in love with any cured variety and now bacon as well.

kathy – I will have to try grilling it.

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Deborah April 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

I’ve never even had pork belly before, but it’s definitely something I want to try!

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Michelle April 19, 2010 at 10:04 am

Sylvia – that sounds amazing!

Peasant Grl – pork isn’t my favorite thing but I am in love with any cured variety and now bacon as well.

kathy – I will have to try grilling it.

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Kami December 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Sounds delicious. Will be using your recipe with a cut my friend gave me to try. He too had a heck of a time finding it locally, so he kindly bought me some as well. Should be fantastic. :)

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Aaron March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm

So I was trying to buy bacon from a coop I belong to, but all they had was pork belly. I had been wanting to try to make it myself, only having eaten it a couple times before. I set out internet searching for a recipe and stumbled upon yours.

Let me say that the long process of cooking pork belly is well worth it! It was delicious!! It was accompanied by some garlic kale and pinot noir.

Thanks for the recipe!!!

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katerina March 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Kami – I want to know how it went?!

Aaron – Wow local pork belly, that must be fabbulous!!! I am so glad you liked it.

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Andy March 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Picked up my first pork belly at my local Korean grocery store yesterday. In the process of cooking it as I speak. Had it marinate overnight with a few of my own ingredients. So far so good. Put the temperature at 275 degrees in order to coincide with another dish we are cooking, which should take a little longer.

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katerina March 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Andy – good luck!I hope it works out.

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Kathy April 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

If you are having trouble locating pork belly, try a Mexican food market. They generally sell this.

Also, for a faster way to cook this, try using a pressure cooker…results are fantastic!!! You can always sear under a broiler for crispiness, if you like.

One of my favs!

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katerina April 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

Thanks for the tip Kathy! I also can usually find it in Asian supermarkets.

I don’t have a pressure cooker, but that is another great tip.

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Apsalar April 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I get a monthly delivery of meat from a CSA, and this month there was a pork belly. Yay! I’ve always wanted to make one but they don’t have them at my local grocery stories. So I found this recipe and tried it and it was great! Thanks so much.

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Joanna June 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Tried the recipe and it was great! The skin was a little to crispy but the meat tasted really tender and moist.
The only thing is your posted cook time is wrong. It calls for roasting it on high for 30 min on 425 then another 30 min on 325 on low. Then another 1 hour of roasting with the wine mixture and lastly another hour by itself. That makes it 180 minutes (3hours instead).

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katerina June 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Joanna – you are right, thanks!

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Kyle August 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

Trying this recipe with our own organic pork belly!

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katerina August 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

@Kyle, wow aren’t you luck to have your own pork! I would love to try with some lovely organic pork. Let me know how it goes.

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Francie October 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times to very good effect. BTW, now you can get pork belly at Whole Foods, although it’s not always on display.

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katerina October 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm

@Francie – thanks for the tip! I am starting to see it more places too

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Gaby October 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Mine is in the oven right now; it smells FABULOUS!!! Cannot wait to taste it

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Gaby October 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I would love to share some thoughts about this recipe…..

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katerina October 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

@Gaby, how did it work out?

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Gaby October 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

OK….having it now…..LOVING IT SO MUCH!! I bought a pork belly at my local asian market; they have it readily available. Who knew? LOL

I cut it in half ; I used 3 large carrots; 1/2 large onion; 6 garlic cloves….and extra thyme leaves. LOTS of wine also; I didn’t crush the veggies thru the strainer. I took out the carrots and onions; smashed the garlic thru the sieve into the sauce; put the carrots (along with extra carrots) in the pan; added some more white wine and red wine a bit more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes… *I like all things saucey And let it simmer in the pot till ready to serve.

Good thing I didn’t make scalloped potatoes! I just boiled russets and was a perfect foil for the pork and sauce!

What a FABULOUS FABULOUS easy recipe! Thank you!!!

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Gaby October 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

HAH…I have another half in the freezer…but have to wait a while before I make it again. This is gonna be a staple in my recipe book….I’ll never use another PB recipe; this one is PERFECTION
I did have to adjust temp lower after I took out the veggies and sauce. I added more wine: red/white; added more carrots and let it simmer….a bit more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and slowly let them marry….YUM

Well, I think I’ve said enough….hahaha

I’m a German gal and LOVE my pork and never had anything quite like this until I had a tiny sampling at a restaurant.

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katerina October 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Yes, pork belly really is fabulous isn’t it!? And so different then other lean pork cuts which are usually so available.

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Sal January 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Sorry! You said for 2. You must be as greedy as we are. It’s very easy to get pork belly in Northern Ireland, but quite limited in other ways!

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katerina January 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Yes, we are also greedy :)

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donna May 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm

cooking up the pork belly right now, but I didnt get enough juice after adding the wine and added some beef broth, where do you think I went wrong? oh and Katerina I’m originally from Flushing, now living on LI and get my pork belly from a farm in PA that delivers to us!

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katerina May 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Hmm, I am not sure that you did go wrong – maybe your pork was just leaner and your veggies weren’t very hydrated? Beef stock sounds like a sensible way of dealing with it.

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Martha June 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

We made this last weekend, just exactly as you suggested (other than tripling it for a lot of company), and it was swoon-worthy. It’s a keeper for us now. Thank you!

Oh, and we got the pork belly at New Seasons for $4 a pound. :)

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katerina June 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Awesome, glad it worked for you Martha!

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Elsos September 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I bet a few drops of liquid smoke would just set it off!
I’ve cold smoked brined belly into bacon, but haven’t tried just cooking it. Looks like a great idea to toss in the smoker.

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katerina September 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Cooking pork belly is great, though not easy on the figure.

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