Sunday Dinner: Roasted Pork Belly

There’s no finer part of a pig than it’s belly. The pork belly used to be a traded commodity, and why not? From the pork belly comes bacon, which we can all agree (vegans aside) is one of the first great contributions to the culinary pantheon. Thank the Brits for inventing this marvel during the first A.D. millennium.

Now, as much as I love bacon, what I really love is the alternate uses of pork belly. The background photo of this website (as of this writing) is a cassoulet I made with pork belly and smoked sausageI brined the last pork belly I cooked in beer. This time around, I thought I would keep things simple and just give the pork belly a solid roasting.


Nigella Lawson, regardless of what you may think of her, is one of few celebrity chefs that I respect. I actually believe that she develops her recipes and her personality is nowhere near as grating as her American counterparts. Yes, she made some dodgy choices in men and recreational activities, but her recipes are attainable and well constructed. And, I think she is one of the most stunningly beautiful women I have ever seen.

Her pork belly recipe is very simple, but what caught me was the use of tahini. It adds an interesting complexity to the fatty pork. Of course, I started my preparation far too late to allow the pork to marinate overnight. Instead, I sped things up and changed a few things around.


WHAT WORKED: Tahini. I never really cooked with it before but I really like what it brings to the overall flavor profile of pork.

WHAT DIDN’T: My lack of planning.

EASE OF PREPARATION: Prep? Easy. Sourcing a pork belly might be tough. Check with your local butcher or Asian grocer.

BEST FOR: A weekend dinner.

SERVE WITH: Rice or a simple steamed vegetable. Don’t muck this up with a lot of complicated stuff.

Sunday Dinner: Roasted Pork Belly
  • 3 lb. pork belly
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup tahini

Score the fat rind with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern. Pour the lemon juice in a shallow baking dish and marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Transfer the pork — rind side up — to a clean roasting dish brushed with a thin layer of canola oil. Brush the pork belly with tahini. Roast uncovered for 2 1/2 hours. Increase the oven heat to 450 degrees and roast for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve the roast rind side down, and slice the meat off of it.

Inspired by Nigella Lawson's original.

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