Saturday, 17 December 2011

Roast Pork Belly with Orange & Cloves

As Christmas approaches, my purse and my spare time inevitably seem to shrink in unison. This ultra simple dish is now a favourite in many restaurants, especially as these cheaper cuts of meat have become so fashionable. This has a crisp, crunchy crackling with melt in the mouth sweet meat, alongside the aromatic, festive orange and cloves. .. and what’s more I challenge anyone to take more than 6 minutes to get it into the oven!

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 6 hours
Suitable for freezing No

6 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
peel of 1 orange using a vegetable peeler to get large strips
15 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1.5kg pork belly, scored (ask your butcher to do this)
2 tbsp sea salt
35ml of Orange and Clove Brandy or zest of an orange and 35ml of brandy
1 glass 100ml of orange juice
1 tsp sugar

1 Preheat your oven to its full whack: at least 220°C/gas mark 7.

2 In a roasting tin, put the garlic cloves, the orange peel, 8 cloves and the cinnamon stick on the bottom, underneath where the pork will be.

3 Rub the underside of the pork belly with half the salt and rub the other half into the skin.

4 Press the remaining 7 cloves into the skin and pop it into the oven. Drop the heat to 150°C/gas mark 2 and cook for 5–6 hours, until tender

5 Remove from the heat, take the meat out of the pan, and set it to one side to rest. Strain the juices into a pan and add the brandy and heat up until boiling.  Slowly add the orange juice and and sugar. Boil this for 2–3 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the taste of the sauce.

6 Slice the pork, drizzle it with the sauce and serve with pan-fried potatoes and rosemary. 

Photo above of my raw pork by Nikki Callis 


  1. I had a whole belly pork delivered a couple of weeks back and I'm in need of inspiring recipes. This is a wonderful idea with the orange and cloves. Very festive xx

  2. I loved testing this recipe for Prepped! last year. I've gone on to making it since, it's definitely one to return to.

  3. Oh YUM! You definitely got me at pork belly! This looks utterly delicious.


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