The Cottage Smallholder

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Danny’s slow roast belly of pork to die for recipe

Photo of an uncooked belly of pork joint skin side down

Joint of pork belly with skin side down ready for slow roast

We have Sunday Lunch in the evening and Danny usually cooks it. If I have the day off, I can spend hours in the garden and totter in at dusk to a great meal. Perfect.

Last week he cooked the best pork that I have ever tasted. I had bought belly of pork from Fred Fitzpatrick on a whim.

Danny was polite and definitely suspicious when I showed him the thin joint. Belly of pork is a slim, boy racer sort of cut. A rib of small bones and meat that appears to be stingy. Wrong. BOP has loads of meat.

I was working last weekend and arrived home to tantalising smells drifting from the oven.
“I found a great recipe. But didn’t have the ingredients so made up my own and experimented with a new method,” D explained, as he sliced the delicious meat.

The pork had a deep, mellow flavour and the crackling was truly superb. The skin and fat both took starring roles. Proper crackling underpinned by a sparkling melt in the mouth layer beneath. I was not eating ‘fat’ but gently roasted, bite sized pieces of heaven that had transmogrified in the long slow cooking process into something with texture and flavour. I would kill for a decent pork scratching. Danny’s home made version impressed me and after the first forkful of meat I reeled with applause and, I hate to admit it, envy.

Edit Oct 2015:  Getting the crackling good and crispy can be a hit and miss affair.  Every oven is different. See Sue’s comment below. If it’s rubbery, you can pop it under a low grill for 5 minutes or more but be careful not to let it blacken and burn. I guess it’s best to play safe and score it, and rub on salt and oil in the traditional manner.

Do also consider serving this perfect Yorkshire pudding recipe with this or any roast.


Danny’s slow roast belly of pork to die for recipe
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Fiona Nevile
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 10 mins
Serves: 4
  • I kilo joint of belly of pork
  • 10 leaves off a sprig of rosemary
  • 3 small cloves of garlic sliced
  • Foil big enough to form a nest under and around the joint
  1. Place the pork, crackling side down, in roasting pan. Distribute the rosemary and garlic evenly over the base of the belly. Take the foil and press it over the belly to make sure that the herbs will not shift.
  2. Turn the whole lot over, crackling side up, and form the foil into a snug nest around the joint, leaving the crackling exposed and ensuring that the fat from the crackling will drip into the foil nest.
  3. Roast at 140c (fan) for 3 hours and then turn down to 130c for another hour (4 hours!) – these are our fan-assisted oven temperatures so you may wish to adjust for a conventional oven, but not by much I think. Maybe +10% maximum.

  Leave a reply


  1. Steven Alker

    Hilary cooked this – second time of cooking was even better than the first. I’ve never liked belly pork before, but the flavour was superb, the texture tenderer than any fillet and the crackling was again a first for me. We will repeat this and experiment with the idea and other flavours. Served with apple and mango sauce, roasted onion, tiny roast potatoes and broccoli.

  2. Sandra

    Gorgeous recipe. Oscar dog couldn’t get enough of the crackling! I returned it to oven with apples, sweet potatoes and wine, which got mashed up, made into a sauce and sieved. My other half was addicted to it, drank it like soup!

  3. Margaret

    I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow. Sounds absolutely delicious. Hope mine works as well as Danny’s.

  4. Good luck George and I hope it turns out well for you.
    We have cooked it both with some fruit underneath and with nothing at all – no liquid or anything. Both approaches seem to work well but a little liquid should make the meat moister I guess so by all means add some as a precaution if you are unsure.
    We crimp the edges of the foil parcel reasonably securely but often it loosens during the cooking anyway. Again, don’t be overly concerned with trying to acieve a bomb-proof foil structure. 🙂

    Like with anything, practice makes perfect. So do try it again if your first effort disappoints. There is nothing ike it when you get the method right.

  5. Hi all,

    I am thinking of preparing this the night before and trusting the other half to put it in the oven for me while I am at work so I can finish off with dauphinoise potatoes when I get home, as these also need the low temp for around an hour. I am just worried that the garlic will dry out overnight… Also I am worried the meat will dry out without any liquid in the foil? is this not the case? all the other recipes I seem to find suggest putting in wine/water with the pork? Lastly how tight do you wrap the foil?

    I am planning to serve with some apple sauce, greens and the creamy garlic potatoes.

    I am so excited, it is the first time I have cooked pork that isn’t sausages!



  6. jessdylansmum

    just made this and my lord it was yummy … my other half was extremely impressed – thankyou, thankyou, thankyou xx oh and Merry Christmas to you all xx

  7. The Guerilla Griller

    I know I’m commenting on an old post, but the thread seems to run and run. A friend of mine, who’s the chef at a highly-regarded local pub, put me onto slow-roast belly pork, and it is as delicious as you, and the others say. He cooks it pretty much as you do, leaves it to go cold, then cuts into serving portions, which are reheated in the oven as required, with the crackling blasted under the grill if necessary. Served on a mound of mash with roasted red onion gravy, with a pint (or three) of local trad cider. Wonderful…

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi TGG

      Old posts are seasoned posts! This is one of our most popular recipes. Great idea to precook and slice. May do this and freeze for a quick midweek supper. Thanks for the tip.

      We buy a lot of belly to cure for weekend bacon so there is always some knocking around in the fridge/freezer.

  8. What a fantastic thread!
    The cracking issue is interesting
    Pork is being bred leaner, perhaps with different fats/layers in different climates too.
    This always seems to work for me
    Score close together, (5-8mm apart) with a sharp stanley knife, Score without penetrating too deep about 8-10mm depending on piece, taking the time to do this well insures result!
    Let Pork come up to room temp, (may be quite a few hours!)
    rub with oil to make the salt stick
    rub with a little fine salt, into gaps and everything.
    rub off excess on surface only, but give a light sprinkling afterward helps gravy from being too salty if you make it from the seperated juice/fat
    Foil as thread suggests, to catch rendered fat before it catches!
    start at higher temp 20 mins or so, and drop before temp penetrates deep.
    The closely monitored grill rescue is great too, if things aren’t swimmingly direct overhead heat where you want it.
    Great thread, Heavenly results!

  9. hi Fiona, you’re making me jealous……….
    I am eager to try Danny’s Roast Belly of Pork with corriander and green tomatoes now as we’ve plenty of them both growing in the garden(not the pork!)lol, shall look forward to recipie.
    Isn’t it great that Liam our X-Pat.friend from Australia is sharing tips with us?
    What better advice than that of a butcher and what a compliment to your site!
    All the above entries ‘say it all’! Well Done and thanks Liam for the tip and everyone else that contributes, it is brilliant that we all share our ideas n comments.
    Well done to all concerned, especially Fiona and Danny. What would we do without you both?
    Cheers Odelle X

  10. Hi chaps like a lot of you I simply googled slow roast pork and found this recipe.Lucky lucky me.
    I am an ex butcher from England living in Australia every thing I have read so far makes so much sense, isn’t it great that people can be bothered to share all of these great tips.
    tomorrow is grand final day their idea of football, and I have my son-in-law coming for lunch. I am going to cook this fantastic sounding recipe, I will let you know how it goes. As an aside I have always used a Stanley knife at home or in the shop to score pork skin, due to its sharpness it can create any kind of score, thin, diamond,whatever you fancy. Thanks for a great heads up.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Liam

      What a fantastic idea using a Stanley knife to score the pork skin. Thank you.

      Last night we feasted on belly of pork with green tomatoes and corriander – overwhelmingly good. Recipe to be posted tomorrow – although being in Australia you’ll have to wait a few months for the green toms!

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