Roast pork belly & crispy crackling

Roast pork crackling recipeHow do you like your roast pork? The answer for most people is probably tender and succulent – but with a crackling skin like thin, tasty, salty glass. For me, a good crackling is key.

Pork belly crackling

I mentioned in my post about my Chinese twice-cooked sticky pork belly that I had plenty of left-over pork ready for a roasting, so tonight was the night to try my hand at creating the very crunchiest crispy pork crackling!

I Googled around the internet for a while, reading other people’s recipes for inspiration, and found that there were just so many different methods. Everyone professes to know the secret of the crispiest pork crackling known to man.

So, I did what I always do when I can’t make a decision – I turned to Twitter!


[Click through to find out what I learned…]

I finally decided, after receiving some great (and very helpful, albeit, confusing) suggestions to go with the easiest route and roast my pork belly with four simple steps, as follows:

Roast pork belly & crispy crackling

  1. Massage the skin with olive oil to iron out any creases
  2. Salt liberally, rub it in (I used a garlic sea salt for flavour, along with a teaspoon of fennel seeds)
  3. Whack in a preheated hot oven (hot as your oven will go!) to roast for 30 minutes
  4. Slow the oven right down to 90 degrees celsius and leave for a few hours to slow cook

Pork belly recipe

It really is that simple!

I used a really lovely wild garlic sea salt from a Swedish brand called Falksalt – it helped flavour the crackling and meat with a subtle garlic hint, without being overpowering.


Here’s a one helpful pointer that I learned along the way – don’t use a ceramic dish to roast your pork, or this will happen:

smashI quickly switched to a foil-lined metal baking tray after my ceramic dish literally cracked under the high heat 😦

Also – next time I’ll be using a little less salt, as the crackling was a touch salty.

Other than that, follow my four steps and you can’t go wrong!

When I eventually took the pork out of the oven (after 2.5 hours of slow cooking), it was pretty close to perfect. The meat was tender, luscious, and fell apart when poked with a fork.

Pork crackling

The crackling was crisp, but didn’t shatter the teeth, and had a satisfying snap with no chewiness.

I served a great big hulking slice of roast pork – crowned with a square of crispy crackling – atop a scoop of colcannon mash, with some gravy to finish off. A 1.5 kilo slice of pork belly would easily feed four people (or two people, with leftovers for roast pork sandwiches!)

Roast pork recipeWant more pork recipes? Take a look at these:

17 thoughts on “Roast pork belly & crispy crackling

  1. You asked, “How do you like your roast pork?”. Personally, I prefer it uncooked in the purest of form – like me – oink oink snort chuckle. Mom explained to me that I’m not that *type* of pig and said your pictures looked very tasty! XOXO – Bacon

  2. Oh YUM! I haven’t had breakfast yet and this is. what. I. want. YUP.
    So…how high does your oven go? I only have ceramic and pyrex baking dishes so I wonder if pyrex would work? Other than that I have cookie sheets.
    What did you switch to?

  3. This looks like something that could possibly be done in a smoker grill — it would keep the heat out of the house in the summer. I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the post — I love pork!

  4. I’ve never made pork belly. This looks uncomplicated and so delicious. I’m glad you came to visit my blog because upon returning to your I realize I must check in more often!

  5. Oh my gosh. Your pork looks perfect… and that crackling…!! Yum! Haha. I know exactly how you feel about getting cooking ‘tips’ that end up being confusing! I cooked my first roast pork with crackling 2 years ago for Mothering Sunday and asked friends on facebook how to get the perfect crackling. All the different opinions did my head in! Thanks for your simple, foolproof tips Emily. I’m definitely going to try this (with the gorgeous fennel seeds! Sounds perfect!)

  6. This looks amazing I have yet to do this as we have only tried itin restaurants following this I might be able to do that!!! The salt wow not sure where I would get that here but you can be sure I am looking online right now lol

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