Sunday, 27 February 2011

Crispy Honey Roast Pork Belly with Onions (Marco Pierre White-adapted)

I'm a nerd when it comes to what I love. I google and research and spend all my free (yes I lie. fine, I confess. even when I'm supposed to be studying.) time on it. It being food. And I have my cooking idols too, and like any fan girl I watch all the cooking shows they do. Everyone knows the usual famous British chefs, and I love them all too, but I recently discovered Marco Pierre White. He's the original British celebrity chef, the youngest chef at his time to be awarded 3 Michelin stars, and our favourite Gordon Ramsay was trained under him. He hwas actually quite hot, albeit 20 years ago. He still has that bad boy charisma and humour to send me gushing to disinterested friends (and sisters) hee hee hee.

Watch him talk about pigs and fat women and then watch the pleasure he takes in cooking, then come tell me I'm being a fangirl. Anyway, that second video practically made me salivate and I knew I had to go roast a pork belly.

There are many different tips out there on getting the perfect roast pork belly with crispy crackling.
For this one, I followed Marco Pierre White's recipe, but had to make changes to the roasting times and temperatures, and the glaze because people have commented it's too sweet and really quite unnecessary. i.e. What I really got out of his recipe are his tips for really crispy crackling for a roast pork, like rubbing oil over the scored skin first. A little disappointed in my new favourite chef ):

Crispy Honey Roast Pork Belly with Onions
300g pork belly, skin-on (originally 1 kg, but, I'm not feeding a whole family here.)
generous sprinkling of sea salt, black pepper
clarified butter (or you could use oil)
2 small brown onions, halved, skin-on
2 bay leaves
sage leaves (which I didn't have)
cold water

For the glaze
1 tsp coriander seeds
(2 star anise, which I didn't have)
1 tbsp honey (his recommended amount is really too much)
80 ml of water

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
2. Score pork belly skin (my butcher did it for me). Rub the clarified butter or oil over the pork belly skin.
3. Pour some cold water into a roasting tray, then place the pork belly on a roasting rack over the water. Roast for 2 hours at the bottom rack of the oven.
(My crackling didn't become crispy, so I turned the heat up real high to 220 degrees celsius for an extra 20-30 min.)
4. Meanwhile, bring the ingredients for the glaze to a boil and let it simmer and reduce till you get a syrupy consistency.
5. When the pork belly is done, leave it aside to rest in a warm place (It's important to let all roasts rest. It makes all the difference really. This allows the juices to return to the meat. If you can, I recommend letting it rest for the same amount of time the meat cooks. )

6. Over medium high heat, melt some butter and fry the halved onions, cut side down. A few minutes later, add the bay leaves, just to brown slightly, before transferring to an oven for about 25 min.
7. Boil to reduce the tray of water (plus collected porky juices/fat) by about a third, till you get a nice gravy sauce.
7. To serve, glaze the crispy skin with the honey reduction. Cut the pork belly into thick generous slices, arrange the roasted onions around it, and drizzle the meat juice gravy over.

Crispy skin, juicy meat, with the flavour and richness of the fat running through the pork, and then that caramel sweetness of the onions and honey. Salivate.

Crack, cut, crunch!


  1. Great blog, I am glad you shared at Simple Lives Thursday. I have some pork Belly in the freezer this looks like a great recipe to try this weekend.


  2. Hi Shu Han! I would like to personally welcome you to the hearth and soul hop! I am now following your amazing blog! You certainly have a talent at photography and this recipe looks so delicious I want to bite into it! I love pork belly done extra crispy like this! thanks so much for sharing with us on the hearth and soul hop. All the best! Alex

  3. Oh, I so wish I could have some of your pork belly - a treat I have never had! I watched the little video of Marco's and I can see why he is your favorite! Any man who love pork fat and fat women is ok in my book LOL!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  4. Hi, happened to see this, after i tried it with his recipe, but my pork did not produce crackling too, and was wondering why

    Did you add a lot of oil to "massage" the skin or did you add little and still did not work before turning the heat up.

    From my understanding, high heat will cause the meat to be dry very eaisly

    1. hey gerald! yea, i was really disappointed when it didn't produce crackling like he said it will ): I added oil, but not a lot actually. i only left the high heat right at the end, turned it on to "grill" i.e. broil function to let the top crisp up, the rest of the time was at the temperature he specified.

      THOUGH. to be honest, I've tried other recipes sicne then and they're much better. it works better if you crank the heat up high right at the start to give it an initial blast for about 30 minutes which makes it go puffy and golden, and then lower the heat down to 160 for the next 2 hours, or more, as long as it takes to cook.

      remember to keep the skin really dry, and the extra oil on top is not that impt I find. hope this helps(:


    2. I tried again today, ended up grilling it like you did for the crispy skin

      I tried to score the pork more then it did to let more fat it whilst it cook, but had no luck

      I used vegetable oil, maybe i will try calrified butter next time...

    3. yea, i think mpw's recipe just wasn't right ): I don't think it's really the oil, do try what I said, to give it an initial blast for half an hour first before lowering it. that did the trick for me! and to make sure the pork is really really dry, even drying it out in the fridge if you can!