Five-hour roast pork belly with roast potatoes and salsa verde
- November 2015
- Serves 10-12 with leftovers
- Hands-on time 1 hour, oven time 5 hours, plus 12-24 hours marinating
John Torode’s signature five-hour pork belly recipe is well worth the wait and the roast potatoes cooked in pork fat are quite simply to-die-for.
- 64.3g (20.2g saturated)
- 33.8g (2.5g sugars)
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 8 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
- 4 tbsp smoked paprika
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 2 lemons, halved lengthways and thickly sliced
- 3.5-4kg British free-range pork belly, bone in, skin on, scored in a small diamond pattern (ask your butcher to do this)
- 2kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
For the salsa verde
- Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley leaves
- Large handful fresh basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 large free-range hard-boiled egg
- Handful fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp capers in brine, rinsed and patted dry
- 50ml olive oil
- Start the day before you want to eat. Mix the salt, garlic, paprika, vegetable oil and lemon pieces in a bowl. Rub the mix into the pork meat (not the skin), then sit the joint skin- side up in a baking tray, on top of the lemon pieces, to infuse the meat.
- Leave the pork to marinate in the fridge uncovered for 12-24 hours (keep away from other food). You may need to cut the pork into 2 pieces if it’s very large.
- Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas 3. Put the potatoes in a very large roasting tin (to act as a trivet). Put the pork, skin-side up, on top of the potatoes and pour any marinade left in the tray around it. Pour a large cup of water into the tray.
- Cover the pork with baking paper, then foil, folding and crimping it around the outside of the tin to seal. Roast in the oven for 4 hours.
- Take the pork out of the oven and carefully remove the foil and baking paper. Turn the oven up to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6. Toss the potatoes that surround the pork in the juices and fat (leave the ones underneath), then return the roasting tray to the oven for a further hour. Turn the surrounding potatoes every 20 minutes or so, making sure they don’t burn on the bottom of the tray.
- Remove the pork from the oven (see tips) and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. Turn the oven as low as it will go to keep the potatoes warm.
- For the salsa verde, put the parsley, basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse but keep it a little chunky. Add the rest of the ingredients, season well, then pulse for 30 seconds or until the mixture has a roughly chopped texture. (You could use a pestle and mortar to make a coarse paste, or chop the herbs, garlic, egg and capers, then mix with the rest of the ingredients).
- When the pork has rested, lay it skin-side down on a board. Gently pull or cut out the bones – they should come away easily. Cut the pork in half lengthways, then cut each half into 5 or 6 slices. Serve with the salsa verde and the potatoes.
If your pork doesn’t crackle after 5 hours, remove the skin (depending on how deep the scoring is, it might come off in small pieces) and put on a lipped baking sheet. Cook at 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9 for 5-10 minutes until crisp.
If you prefer a looser salsa verde, mix in a tiny splash of water (don’t add more oil as you want to keep the acidity of the vinegar and capers).
This also goes well with mashed potatoes – sit the pork on 4 large, peeled and halved potatoes, and boil, then mash the rest.
Marinate the pork up to 48 hours ahead and chill,then cook as in the recipe. It’s best served on the day but will keep for up to 48 hours in a sealed container in the fridge. Pop the meat into a roasting tin and warm in a hot oven for 15 minutes before eating.
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