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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.

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  1. Leslie Cotton

    We had slow raosted pork at a restaurant and it was so wonderful I googled for a recipe. Fortunately, I came upon this site – not only is the slow roasted pork fabulous – I love the dissertation and the follow up discussion. What a great find this is!

    PS – I’m making the roast again tomorrow for our daughter’s future in-laws!

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi JJ

    Thank you so much for this comment. I am so keen to build a garden smoker for fish and people without a chimney could use one of these to smoke bacon too.

    Really appreciate you sharing your tips too.

  3. Modifying a dustbin for a smoker. Get a steel dustbin with lid (or an oil drum will do). Near the bottom cut a ‘door’ about the size of a CD box. Hinge this to the dustbin and use foil tape to make it reasonably airtight. Punch 4 threaded rods through the dustbin. 2 about 9 inches up and the other about 17up. The first 2 hold a pan of water. The second two have a rack over for the meat. You ‘fire’ the charcoal in the bottom of the dustbin (I use a couple of bricks around the base as a heatsink). The water pan goes over (I used a big stainless dog bowl filled with boiling water, cold will keep the smoker too cold) finally the meat over with the lid on top. Get the charcoal grey before adding the meat and putting the lid on. The ‘door’ enables you to add wood to the charcoal. It should NOT burn or flame AT ALL!, just smoulder. 225F – 250 F is ideal. I use oak or apple. I also use a remote probe to monitor the ‘smoke’ heat and the meat temp. Also, for some reason Briquettes are better than lumpwood. Dry rub the belly the day before and during the cook baste, see the weber site for recipes. I have one going right now which is what reminded me to check this site! JJ

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi James

    If you try this recipe again with bones in they are easily tulled free at the end of cooking time.

  5. Thank you so much for the tip. It looks great, so am sure it will work ok without the bones. Like the look of the mini roasts – so glad i have found you site! James

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi James

    We cook it with bones. We have breast of pork boned when we are going to cure our own steaky bacon. But I’m sure it will work out fine. If you have a joint without bones you can also stuff and roll it.

    For roast potatoes why not try these mini roasts? you can whap the temperature up when you take out the pork to rest.

  7. Oh, i forgot, one other question! If i want to do roast potatoes with it, how do i cook them at such a low temperature? Can i just cook them longer and then turn it up high for the last 20 mins or so after the pork is cooked?

  8. Wonderful, thank you…it has been going a while now and smells great. I will let you know how it turns out. I bought my pork without the bones – is that how Danny did it?

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi James

    I’ve just checked with Danny. You need to score the skin with a shrp knife first. Hope it turns out well for you!

  10. I am going to try this wonderful recipie today – i have just got my pork. As a novice, i just wanted to check that i need to score the skin with a sharp knife first?

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