Pork Belly Roast

Pork Belly roast with crunchy crackling

Roast Pork Belly

Long, lazy Sunday afternoons with family and friends gathered around our table, is one of those ‘have-to’ events on our calendar. Sunday lunch is the time to catch up with your loved ones’ hopes and worries, stories, jokes, experiences. Around our table we share gratitude, memories, shape relationships and build a history together. This is the time that we can all decompress for the week ahead.

Roast Pork Belly3Whenever I ask my children what they would like on the menu, nine out of ten times they will say: “Roasted Pork Belly with crackling, like Ouma used to make.”  Now therein lays my problem. My mom seldom used recipes and sadly, I never penned down any of her masterpieces.

Over the years I have developed this easy, fuss-free recipe which the kids seem to like … maybe not as much as they did with Ouma’s dish, but I think it is passable.


  • 1 kg pork belly
  • 15 g fennel seeds or a mix of fennel and cumin
  • 5 g Maldon sea salt
  • 100 ml olive oil


Turn oven to the highest temperature setting you have. Using a sharp knife score the skin down to the meat.

Put the fennel seeds and the Maldon sea salt in a pestle and mortar and grind till the seeds are smashed and mixed well with the salt. Mix with the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the skin and rub it in with your hands, making sure that everything gets in between the skin and down onto the meat.

Transfer the seasoned pork belly into your oven for 20-30 minutes or until the skin of the belly starts to bubble and is golden brown. Turn the oven temperature down to 170°C and roast for approximately 1.5 hours.

Take the meat from the tray and place onto a wooden board and allow to rest. Pour off the fat from the tray and de-glaze the tray. Make gravy with some bisto and/or cornflour.

ApplesauceRemove the crackling from the top of the belly and break up into pieces. Serve with the gravy and home made apple sauce.


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