Rolled and Roasted Pork Belly with Preserved Lemon, Rosemary and Chilli

, from Issue #43. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Rolled and Roasted Pork Belly with Preserved Lemon, Rosemary and Chilli

It’s hard to pass up this classic Italian pork roast with its masses of gorgeous crunchy crackling and tender, moist meat. Use any leftovers to make a fantastic sandwich.


1½ - 2 kilogram piece pork belly, skin scored at 1 cm wide intervals (we use Freedom Farms)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 quarters preserved lemon
¼ cup sage leaves
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
3 cloves garlic
½-1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil

kitchen string


Preheat the oven to its highest temperature.

Place the pork belly skin side down on the bench and season with salt and pepper.

Scrape the flesh from the preserved lemon pieces and discard.

Place the lemon skin on a chopping board with the sage, rosemary, garlic and chilli flakes and use a large sharp knife to chop everything together to create a rough paste. Stir in the olive oil then spread the mixture evenly over the flesh side of the pork. Roll up tightly and secure with kitchen string.

Rub the skin with a little olive oil then season generously with salt.

Place the pork on a rack set over a baking dish and pour in enough water to come 1 cm up the side of the dish. Don’t pour the water over the pork.

Roast for 25 minutes to get the crackling started then reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C. Roast the pork for 1 hour until very tender when pierced with a skewer, adding more water to the pan if it dries out.

If the crackling has not crisped enough, place under a preheated grill for a few minutes but watch it carefully as it can catch and burn quickly.

To serve: Rest the pork for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the relish