Slow-roast rolled pork belly

Slow-roast rolled pork belly
by Mike Lubbe



    - 2 tbsp fennel seeds

    - 1 tsp black peppercorns

    - 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    - 1 large bunch of fresh thyme, leaves only

    - 3 tbsp olive oil

    - 1½ - 2kg 3lb 5oz - 4lb 8oz piece pork belly (skin on) cut from the slimmer half, skin scored

    - 2 lemons





Toast the spices in a dry frying pan for a couple of mins. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, the garlic and half the thyme to make a paste, then mix with 2 tbsp olive oil.


Lay the pork on a board skin-side down. Rub the herb mix all over the flesh then scatter with the remaining whole thyme leaves.


Neatly roll the meat into a joint surrounded by the skin then use butchers' string to tie the joint tightly at regular intervals to hold the joint together. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt and 1 tbsp remaining olive oil.

Put it on a wire rack and roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30 mins. After this time, squeeze the lemons over the skin and turn the heat down to 180C/160C fan/gas

Roast for a further 2 hrs. Finally turn the heat back up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and give it a final blast for another 30 mins or so, to finish the crisping of the skin.

Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 mins. Carve up into thick slices and serve.



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