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Introduction & method

Pork belly is a reasonably priced cut of meat, but it does need a long, slow roast to bring out the best in it. The aniseed notes of the fennel seeds complement the pork perfectly, and the cider in the gravy makes it sing.

Roast Pork Belly with Fennel Seeds Recipe

Preheat your oven to 150°C (302°F) for a fan/convection oven, 170°C (338°F) for a conventional one, gas 3. Deeply score parallel lines in the fat, about 1cm (half an inch) apart. You want to penetrate the skin, and partially into the fat, but not into the meat. Use a Stanley knife or box cutter for this, or ask your butcher to do it if you can't manage it. Crush the fennel seeds, and mix them together with the salt. Rub the mixture right into the cuts in the pork fat.

Slice the carrot, celery and onion into 1cm (half inch) slices. Lay these in a single layer in a baking tray and place the pork on top of this platform. The veggies are there to enhance the flavour of the cooking jus. Pour in enough cider to cover the veggies. Tightly cover the roasting tin with foil and place in the hot oven for 3 hours. You might want to check the liquid level halfway through and top it up if necessary.

After 3 hours, turn up the oven to 180°C (356°F) fan, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6, remove the foil (don't throw it away) and let the meat cook for another 20 minutes.

When the meat is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest, tented in foil, for 20-30 minutes. To make a gravy, strain the pan juices into a saucepan (discard the remains of the vegetables), stir in a tablespoon of flour, whisking rapidly to prevent lumps forming, and simmer for a few minutes. Taste for seasoning, and add salt if necessary.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Roast Pork Belly with Fennel Seeds on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

•  1 kilo pork belly
•  1 tsp fennel seeds
•  1 tsp coarse sea salt
•  1 onion
•  1 carrot
•  1 stick celery

Boiling water

US (cups, sticks, etc)

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes. Resting time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes.
Total time: 4 hours.

Watch the video on YouTube