Sunday, 1 June 2014


Even though it is a sunny weekend (for once) Pascal wanted a roast rather than another barbecue. I wasn't convinced, but since I make him regularly eat dishes that aren't his favourite, I thought I should indulge him.

We did our usual thing of going to the pub for some white wine, scotch eggs and sausage rolls (so so good) and then I did the cooking while Pascal did some gardening - I feel like we are part of The Good Life in London!! I was feeling of top of the world as I managed to run 4 miles this morning - first time in 6 months….it was incredibly painful at the time, but I felt fantastic after….just got to make sure I make it a regular thing again.

Anyway this is a recipe that I learnt on Lorraine's morning show - I served it with fennel gratin as they recommended and it was really really good!! Once again - this does take quite a bit of time to cook.

Ingredients for 6 people:

1.5kg pork belly
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml sherry or white wine
A splash of water
Sea salt
Black pepper

If you can you need to take the pork out of the fridge for about an hour before you cook it so it dries out.

Preheat the oven to 230 C / gas mark 8.

Rub the crushed garlic over the pork belly. Then place it on a large chopping board, skin side up and score it. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper and "massage" it into the meat.

Transfer the pork belly into a roasting tray greased with olive oil and place on the top shelf of the hot oven.

Roast for about 30 minutes or until the hard crackling has formed (this took 35 minutes for us). 

Then turn the oven down to 190 C / Gas mark 5 and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (we did 2 1/2 hours). 

Leave to rest for about 10 minutes.

While the pork is resting, deglaze the roasting tray with the sherry / white wine, scraping the juices off the bottom of the tray. If it tastes too strong, add a splash of water.

Finally serve with the fennel gratin (recipe to follow).


Yum, yum, yum. This is the best roast pork I have ever cooked, it is now pork belly all the way. The crackling is immense! Plus it goes brilliantly with the fennel gratin, which surprised me as I would never pick fennel as a side.

Whoever comes round to our house next for a dinner party, this is what you are having - yes it takes a long time to cook, but it is oh so simple and amazingly delicious.

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