Perfect Festive Pork Belly
  • 1.5kg piece boneless pork bellyskin scored at 1cm intervals
  • olive oilto drizzle
  • 3/4cup firmly packed brown sugar170g
  • 3/4cup sea salt165g
  • 4 garlic clovescrushed
  • 1tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  1. Place the pork skin side up on an oven rack over the sink and pour a jug of boiling water over the skin. Pat dry and set aside.
  2. For the brine, place the sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, cloves, bay, thyme and 1.5L water in a saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until sugar and salt have dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and chill until cooled to room temperature.
  3. Pour brine into a plastic container and carefully place the pork in the brine, to cover meat but not skin. Chill overnight uncovered in the fridge, leaving the skin exposed to dry out.
  4. The next day, preheat the oven to 220°C. Remove pork from brine, discarding brine and allow the pork to come to room temperature
  5. Rub skin with oil and season with salt. Place pork, skin-side up, on a greased wire rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin starts to bubble and crisp slightly.
  6. Reduce oven to 150°C and roast for a further 1 hour 10 minutes, then increase oven to 200°C and cook for a further 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the crackling is crisp and golden. Rest the pork, loosely covered with foil, for 30 minutes.