An hour before cooking, remove the pork from the packaging, wiping the top of the skin with a paper towel to keep it dry. Allow to rest at room temperature so its not cold going into the oven.
Preheat the oven to 250C.
Start to prepare the pork belly by scoring the skin. Firstly using a very sharp Stanley knife, puncture the skin all over with a stab like motion, taking good care not to allow the knife to penetrate the meat, only the skin and fat. You can also score the skin into 1 inch squares as it usually done by the butcher (or have them do it for you). Then using the same knife, portion the skin into 6 to make it easier to cut later.
Once the pork is prepared, wash and rinse the leeks to ensure no grit is left in them. Slice them lengthways and set aside. Slice the onions into thick rounds, you don't need to worry about peeling them as these are only for flavour. Set aside.
In a small pestle and mortar, bash up the rock salt and fennel seeds to a course consistency.
Now arrange the vegetables in a single layer in the bottom of your roasting tin. Place the pork belly on top of the vegetables. Rub a teaspoon of sunflower oil onto the skin to allow the salt & fennel seeds to stick. Pour over the salt & fennel seeds and smooth to cover all of the skin.
Place into the oven at 250C for 20 minutes.
Now reduce the oven temperature to 220C and cook the pork for a further 40 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature again down to 180C. Take the pork from the oven and using a spoon or fork crack the salt mixture and remove as much as you can from the belly and push to the side. Put the belly back in the oven and allow to cook another 40 minutes.
Finally reduce the oven temperature to 140C and allow the pork to cook for another 60-80 minutes until the internal temperature reaches about 75C, or the pork falls apart when tested.
Remove the pork from the oven, place onto another oven proof tray to finish off the crackling. Discard the vegetables as these will be almost burnt by now and full of salt.
Turn the oven to grill setting on high, approximately 220C. Once the grill is hot, place the pork under and allow the crackling to finish crisping up. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED at this point! This is a crucial step if you want extra crispy crackling and only takes minutes to ruin. You will see the bubbles start to form on the skin. When its golden brown remove from oven, allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Do not cover the meat as you don't want to allow moisture into the crackling as this will soften it.
A quick tip if you are struggling to portion the belly after its rested is to use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the crackling then use your large knife to cut the meat.
Perfect Pork Belly
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1342Calories from Fat 1206
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 48g300%
Vitamin A 520IU10%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •