Pork belly with fennel and garlic rub

Everyone will want seconds of Rachel Allens wonderful herb-infused, tender and crunchy pork
By Rachel Allen
Pork belly with fennel and garlic rub
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes plus 15 minutes resting time
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the fennel and garlic rub

  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

For the meat

  • 1 kg pork belly, rind left on
  • roast vegetables, to serve
  • sprigs rosemary, to garnish

Tips and Suggestions

It is essential to leave the rind on the pork if you want crackling.


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.

2. For the fennel and garlic rub: grind the fennel seeds, garlic and 2 tsp sea salt together using a hand-held blender or pestle and mortar, or just finely chop them by hand and mix together well in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to form a thick paste.

3. Score the rind on the pork belly widthways at 5-7mm intervals along the grain of the meat. Put the pork belly into a roasting dish and, using a skewer or a small sharp knife, make 56 incisions about 1cm deep into the rind-free sides and the bottom of the meat.

4. Massage the fennel and garlic paste into the incisions and into the scored lines in the fat on the top of the meat.

5. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 3½-4 hours, then turn up the heat to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7, and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the rind is crisp and crackly.

6. Allow the pork to rest in the oven, with the heat turned off, or somewhere warm for at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.

7. Serve with roast vegetables and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

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