Pork belly with perfect crackling

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - Golden, crunchy crackling alongside tender, soft pork is many people's dream Sunday lunch. Belly is the perfect cut for this – it is quite fatty, so the meat doesn’t dry out before the crackling becomes exquisitely crunchy.


  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 2kg Thick-end pork belly piece, unrolled


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. With a pestle and mortar, bash the spice seeds lightly until they are just cracked.
  2. If the skin isn’t already scored, do it yourself with a sharp knife. Rub salt, pepper and a bit more than half the cracked seeds onto the skin, working them into the scores.
  3. Scatter the remaining cracked seeds into a large roasting tin; put the meat on top and roast for 30 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 180C/gas 4 and cook for about 1 hour 30 minutes more – until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a skewer and the skin has crackled to a gorgeous golden brown. If the crackling looks pale, turn the heat back up high and keep checking until it is done. Leave to rest in a warm place, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the crackling from the pork before carving. Cut the joint into thick slices and break the crackling into pieces
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 hours
  • Total time: 2 hours 5 minutes 5 minutes

Serves: 6

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 2820.016kJ
Fat 52.0g
Saturated Fat 19.0g
Salt 0.5g

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2 stars

Average user rating Based on 195 ratings

This recipe was first published in March 2010.