This easy-to-follow recipe will teach you step-by-step how to make perfect, melt in your mouth, crispy roasted pork belly. Serve this pork belly alongside tangy cranberry mustard, the perfect condiment to complement and balance the fattiness of the pork!
It’s time to stop being intimidated by the thought of cooking pork belly! I promise you it’s not hard at all. All it takes is a few hours in the oven, it practically cooks itself. The best part? Pork belly is such an inexpensive cut of meat, you can typically find it for around $5/pound. You can’t beat that!
The key to tender, juicy pork belly to cook it under high heat, just until the fat (or skin) is golden brown then, turn the oven down and cook it low and slow until it’s fork-tender. Slow-roasting it this way results in a crispy, golden brown pork belly that’s melt-in-your-mouth tender!
If you’re local to Los Angeles and looking for great quality pork check out Pork and Flowers. They sell at most of the major farmers’ markets. If you’re not in LA you can order great quality heritage pork belly from Heritage Pork Online.
Don’t know what to serve with crispy roasted pork belly? Check out these perfect pairings:
Ingredients You’ll Need
Crispy Roasted Pork Belly:
Pork belly, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and olive oil.
Fresh or frozen cranberries, shallot, white wine, and honey.
Skin-On Pork Belly vs. Skinless Pork Belly
You have a decision to make when roasting pork belly, do you leave the skin aka the “rind” on or off? Pork skin is thick and tough, however, when it’s roasted it turns into a crispy, golden brown layer of crackling, if that sounds good to you leave it on! The other option is to remove the skin before cooking (or have your butcher do it) the fat still gets plenty crispy and golden brown and it’s a little easier to slice through in my opinion.
The great thing about this recipe is you can use it for either skin on or skin off, no adjustments need to be made one way or another. Try it both ways and let me know in the comments which version you like best!
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Refrigerate the Pork Uncovered.
When you first bring your pork belly home from the market leave it unwrapped on a tray in the refrigerator for at least three hours, or up to overnight before cooking. This will help rid the pork of excess moisture resulting in crispier skin and fat.
Step 2. Score and Season the Belly
Use a sharp knife to score the skin or fat of the belly. Slice through the fat layer but stop when you reach the meat. Rub the pork on all sides with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Step 3. Roast
Roast the pork belly at 475F for 40-50 minutes then lower the temperature to 300F for 2.5-3 hours.
Step 4. Make the Cranberry Mustard
The cranberry mustard sauce is very easy to make just sauté the shallot then add in the cranberries and wine. Simmer until the wine reduces and the cranberries are soft. Turn off the heat and fold in the honey and whole grain mustard.
FAQs, Tips & Tricks
Pork belly is a fatty cut of meat from the underside of the belly of the pig. Bacon is pork belly that has been cured, smoked, and thinly sliced.
If the skin isn’t golden brown and crackling, turn on the broiler and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Keeping a very close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn!
Yes and no. If you overcook the pork belly it will fall apart like pulled pork which isn’t what were going for in this recipe but it’s delicious all the same and totally serve-able.
You will know that pork belly is thoroughly cooked when you can insert a knife into the center with zero resistance.
Check Out More Great Recipes
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Crispy Roasted Pork Belly with Cranberry Mustard
- 2 lb pork belly
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 c minced shallot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 1/2 c whole grain mustard
- 1/4 c honey
- Leave the pork uncovered in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to 12.
- Preheat your oven to 475 F. Use a sharp knife to make several diagonal cuts across the skin of the pork belly, about 1/4-inch apart. Cut through the skin and fat but not into the meat. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper then rub with olive oil.
- Place the fresh thyme in a baking dish then place the pork belly on top, skin/fat side up. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crackling. Turn the oven down to 300 and cook for an additional 2.5-3 hours or until the meat is tender. Let the pork rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan as well as the chopped shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the shallot is translucent then add in the cranberries and white wine. Bring the wine to a simmer, cook stirring occasionally, until the wine is evaporated and the cranberries are soft about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the mustard and honey. Let cool completely before serving.
- How to know if pork belly is done cooking: Insert a small knife into the thickest part of the pork, if the knife is met with any resistance it is not ready yet, if it slides in easily it is done cooking.
- Why is my pork belly skin not crispy? If the skin isn’t golden brown and crackling, turn on the broiler and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Keeping a very close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn!
- Can I use other herbs instead of thyme? Yes, you can use fresh sage or rosemary.
- Leftover pork belly can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a hot cast iron pan or in the oven at 400F for 10 minutes.
- Leftover cranberry mustard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.