Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Five-hour roast pork belly

Prep time overnight
Cook time overnight
Serves 10-12 very hungry people, with leftovers
From Saturday Kitchen
A great fuss-free dish to feed a crowd. You’ll need to marinate the pork 12-24 hours in advance and cook it for 5 hours, but there’s very little actual work and you’ll end up with the most tender, tasty meat imaginable. For this recipe you will need a food processor.


  1. For the pork, using a very sharp knife (or a utility knife), score the skin of the pork really deeply in a criss-cross pattern with about a 1cm/½in gap between each cut. Boil your kettle, put the pork in a clean sink, skin-side up, and pour the boiling water over the skin of the pork – this scalds it and it will make sure the skin is crispy once it is roasted.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the salt, garlic, paprika, vegetable oil and lemon pieces. Now, rub the mixture into the pork skin and flesh, leaving the lemon pieces sitting on top of the skin. Put the pork on a tray and leave it to marinate in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Put the potatoes in a large roasting tin (the potatoes will act as a trivet). Lay the pork, skin-side up, on top of the potatoes and pour over any marinade left in the tray. Pour a mug of water into the bottom of the tray underneath the pork. Cover the pork with baking paper, then with foil and tuck the foil around the outside of the tin to seal. Roast for 4 hours.

  4. Take the pork out of the oven and increase the oven temperature to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Carefully remove the foil – the tin will be steaming. Put the pork back in the oven and roast for a further hour.

  5. For the roast parsnips, heat the oil in a roasting tray until hot. Put the parsnips in a bowl and pour over boiling water to scald them. Drain the parsnips and pat dry, place in the hot oil and carefully toss so they are all covered. Roast for 45 minutes. Season with a little salt before serving.

  6. Take the pork out of the oven and leave it to sit somewhere warm to rest for 30 minutes. While the pork is resting, make the mash and the salsa verde.

  7. For the parsnip mash, put the parsnips, potatoes, garlic cloves in a saucepan and half cover with water. Add the milk and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until completely overcooked, stirring constantly.

  8. Drain well, transfer to a clean pan and keep warm, reserving the cooking liquid. Warm the cream and the butter. Put the cooked vegetables in a food processor with some of the cooking liquor and blend until smooth, add the cream and butter and blend more. If the mixture is too thick add a little more of the cooking liquid.

  9. For the salsa verde, put the parsley, basil and garlic into a food processor and pulse until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse for 30 seconds or until the mixture has a roughly chopped texture – it should not be a paste.

  10. When the pork has rested, lift it out of the tin and lay it skin-side down on a carving board. Score the underside of the pork so that you can see the ends of the bones. Pop them out using your thumb, then take the bones out by simply pulling at the sticking out ends – they should pull away from the flesh easily. Cut the pork in half lengthways, then cut each half into 5 or 6 slices. Flip each one over – it should be a lovely glistening slice of roasted deliciousness. The whole board goes to the table. Bowls of mash, bowls of salsa verde – go for it! Serve with the spuds that were cooked under the pork and the roast parsnips.


For the pork

  • 3.5-4kg/8-9lb piece of pork belly, bone in, skin on
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lemons, halved lengthways then thickly sliced
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and halved

For the roast parsnips

  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 6 parsnips peeled, trimmed and split down the middle

For the parsnip mash

  • 500g/1lb 2oz parsnips, peeled and cut into 5cm/2in pieces
  • 100g/3½oz potatoes, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
  • 200ml/7fl oz milk
  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 50ml/2fl oz double cream
  • 10g/¼oz butter
  • salt and pepper

For the salsa verde

  • 2 large handfuls flatleaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 1 large handful basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 1 handful fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
  • pinch salt

Shopping List

Five-hour roast pork belly

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry

This link may stop to work if/when the BBC removes the recipes
This site is under development - You can use it, but some things are not completed and may not be quite right!