This stuffed pork belly is a great alternative to your traditional roast dinner and is perfect as part of your Easter feast. Our stuffed pork belly is flavoured with a mixture of fennel, apple, sage and pistachios and could be made separately if you’re looking for a new stuffing recipe. The other star of this stuffed pork belly recipe is the delicious crackling on top! It’s best to prep the pork the night before so that it can rest in the fridge.
- 2kg boneless pork belly
- For the stuffing:
- 2tsp fennel seeds
- olive oil, for frying
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 200g pork mince
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 apple, grated
- small handful sage leaves, fine chopped
- 4tbsp breadcrumbs
- 45g pistachios
- juice and zest of ½ lemon
- 1/4tsp grated nutmeg
Score the pork belly skin with a sharp knife in a cross pattern. Lay the belly cut on a board and place, uncovered, in the fridge overnight.
The next day, make your stuffing. Dry-fry the fennel seeds in a pan over a high heat for 1-2mins, then tip into a pestle and mortar and leave to cool. Grind well, then mix with a good pinch of salt and place in a large bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the onion. Season and cook gently over a low heat for 10mins. Add the garlic, and cook for another 2mins, then add the mince. Cook until the mince is browned. Set aside and leave to cool.
Transfer the mince and onion mix to the bowl with the fennel seeds, and add the egg, apple, sage, breadcrumbs, pistachios, lemon juice and nutmeg.
Lie the pork belly on a board, skin-side down. Place the stuffing into a sausage shape lengthways down the middle of the belly. Wrap the sides of the belly around the stuffing and tie with butcher’s string. Place seam-side down in a roasting tin, uncovered, and chill for at least 2hrs, preferably overnight. You want the skin to dry out completely so that it crisps up when you roast it.
To cook the pork, take it out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to come to room temperature. Heat oven to 180C or Gas 4 and cook the pork for about 2hrs, turning the tin every 30mins or so. After 2hrs, turn the heat up to 220C or Gas 7 and cook for another 20mins. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15-20mins. Carve and serve with sides.
Top tip for making Stuffed pork belly
If you have time, allow the meat to rest in the fridge overnight (uncovered) as it really helps get that crackling going.