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crackling pork belly roll

Crack the Crackling Pork Belly Roll


Nothing says 'celebration' like golden, crackly pork. Master this method for perfect crackle every time.

  • Serves: 6-8 |
    6-8 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 20 mins |
  • Cook Time : 1:35 hours
Categories: Christmas, Mains, Pork, Roasts
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2 kg pork belly roll
a sharp craft knife / NT cutter
olive oil
salt and pepper
10 sage leaves, chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
kitchen string

Lay the pork belly on a cutting board and pat the skin dry with a paper towel. Set the blade of the craft knife so that it’s just long enough to cut through the skin without cutting into the meat. Carefully cut parallel lines along the surface of the skin at even intervals. Tip: this can be a finicky job to do as the skin is quite tough. To make it easier, instead of starting at the end of the meat, rather find what would be the halfway point of the line you plan to cut; press the blade in at that midpoint and then pull towards yourself, then flip and go in the other direction. Repeat until you have scored all the way across.

Flip the pork belly over and drizzle the meat with a little olive oil. Sprinkle the chopped herbs in an even layer over the meat then season with salt and pepper.

Cut 4-5 lengths of string. Roll the pork belly up tightly and tie it in intervals with string to secure it. Place the pork belly roll onto a wire rack on a baking tray and pop it into the fridge overnight to dry out the surface of the skin, this will ensure perfect crackling.

The next day, remove the pork belly from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 230 ºC.

Rub the skin with salt and be sure to get it into the score lines in the skin. Once all of the scores have been salted, rub the excess salt off the surface of the skin. Brush with oil and immediately place the pork into the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on how your crackling is doing.

After 30 minutes, drop the heat to 160 ºC and continue cooking for another hour or until the internal temperature reaches 70 ºC. For extra pop on your crackling, you can brush the skin with oil and turn the grill on full for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Keep an eye on it while it grills so that it doesn’t burn. Let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.