Slow Cooked Belly of Pork – on a bed of vegetables in it’s own sauce
My mum used to make me this dish when we came home from London for the weekend after an exhausting week working as a chef. We would walk in and the whole house would smell divine and boy did we have a treat ahead of us – tender slow cooked belly of pork that fell off the bone, covered with tons of the crispiest crackling, all casseroled on a bed of good old English root vegetables, oozing with flavour and all bathed in sauce from heaven. This dish takes less than 15 minutes to prepare but 6 hours of slow cooking in the oven, giving you time to build up an appetite. Buy half a whole pork belly on the bone, a Two kilo piece cost me £6.20, making the total dish price £2 per person. Harvey’s sell organic, Hazels will get it in for you if not in stock and most local butchers will sell locally reared pork. Ask the butcher to cut the fat of the pork in one piece but keep for making the crackling.
Servings Prep Time
4generous servings 15minutes
Cook Time
5 – 6hours
Servings Prep Time
4generous servings 15minutes
Cook Time
5 – 6hours
  1. Preheat the oven gas 6 / 220*c
  2. Prepare the pork by removing the skin cutting of in one piece half way through the fat. (Don’t worry if you end up with some meat on the skin)
  3. Score the skin in slashes, cutting half way through with a very sharp knife every 2 cm or so. This will add to the crispiness and be easier to serve.
  4. In a large ovenproof tray add all the vegetables and garlic.
  5. Lay the pork on top minus the fat.
  6. Pour over the water (or mixed liquid), sauces and rub with the mustard and paprika.
  7. Season well.
  8. Lay the fat on top of the pork and rub in a little salt.
  9. Cook in the oven on the middle shelf for 1 hour un-covered to allow the fat to crisp up.
  10. Cover the tin with foil or a lid, turn the oven down to gas 5 / 190-200*c and carry on cooking for up to 5 hours. (It will be cooked in 4 – more tender in 5)
  11. Check to see if the fat is crisp enough, if not leave the lid of for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Recipe Notes

How to Serve –
Take the whole tray to the table and place the huge piece of crackling to the side, cut between the bones, serving a rib each with a large chopped piece of crackling – serve the belly pork ribs with a portion of the casseroled vegetables and the natural jus /gravy from the dish.
This is one pot cooking at it’s best but for extra bliss serve with mustard mash and maybe some apple chutney.

Variations –
Why not add large diced potatoes to the pot or alternate the vegetables – try Seasonal celeriac or turnip. Whole baby beetroots would also work well. My mum used to use broccoli which cooked very soft but was still very nice – use the stalk as well as the florets, that’s where all the flavour and nutrition is.
Belly of pork is a fatty piece of meat but because it’s slow cooked all the fat renders down in to the sauce – which could be skimmed off.
A whole belly of pork is approx. 3 foot long and you only need half of it for this four-portioned dish. BUT what end – well the big end has bigger ribs, a thicker layer of fat but a chunkier piece of meat while the other is thinner, les fat, smaller ribs with no ribs on one end and an even piece of meat. BOTH cuts have their good points – it’s your choice or the butchers.
Do you know where your meat comes from? My pork was from a farm in Banham, Norfolk.