Slow Braised Pork Belly

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This is a fantastic dish, inspired by the flavours of the Southern Mediterranean. The meat is covered in a salt and spice rub which leaves the meat succulent and tender.


  • 1 pork belly, 1.5kg in weight
  • 3 banana shallots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100 Marsala wine or sweet sherry
  • 300ml chicken stock.


  • 3 tbsp of table salt
  • 1 star anise, crushed
  • 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Carefully remove the skin from the meat.
  2. Using a very sharp knife or a household scalpel, score the skin, both the length and width, in a 2cm grid. Don't cut all the way through.
  3. Rub with salt and place on a plate and set aside in the fridge.
  4. Grind the spice mix and rub over the belly meat. Place on a plate and set aside in the fridge for 4-12 hours.
  5. Once ready to roast, preheat the oven to 140°C.
  6. Take the belly out of the fridge, rinse under cold water to remove the salt and spice rub, and pat dry .
  7. Cut the meat into very large chunks, and in a large hot sauté pan brown the pork all over to give it some colour. Set aside.
  8. Peel and thickly slice the shallots, celery, garlic, and carrots.
  9. Arrange these in an oven proof casserole and top with the pork belly.
  10. Deglaze the sauté pan with the wine and add to the casserole dish and roast for 2-2.5 hours. The timing will depend on how thick the meat is, so test the meat to check if it is cooked - push a fork into the flesh, it should be nice and tender and come away easily.
  11. When the belly is cooked, remove the casserole from the oven, and turn up the heat to 200°C.
  12. Place skin on a roasting tray and roast the skin for 30 - 40 minutes until crispy. Finish off under the grill to puff it up. Be careful not to burn it under the grill. Set aside to cool.
  13. Turn down the oven to 140°C and put the casserole back in the oven for 20 minutes to warm through.
  14. Break up the crackled skin into chunks and serve with the belly pork alongside steamed beans and sweetheart cabbage.

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