This is one of the simplest ways to cook pork belly and easily one of the tastiest.

It’s better if the slices are relatively thin, so I prefer to buy a whole piece, then cut it up myself – but you can buy it as strips, if you prefer. Pork belly has so much flavour thanks to the lovely, creamy fat that runs between the layers of meat.

Be careful, though: the fat has a tendency to drip into the fire when it’s hot, which can cause the embers to flare up. That’s why I like using a lightweight grill, which is easy to whip off; or in this case, I use my trusty Aga toasting rack.

Recipe from the book Outside by Gill Meller, published by Quadrille Books available in all good bookstores now for just £30!

Photography by Andrew Montgomery (@montgomeryphoto). 



  • Place the pork belly on a board and cut it into 2–3cm (¾in–1¼in) thick slices. Transfer the pork pieces to a bowl and add the garlic and peppercorns, and the thyme sprigs, fennel seeds and salt. Trickle in the extra-virgin olive oil and turn everything together so it’s all mixed up well. 

    Leave the pork to sit for several hours, or overnight in the fridge if you like.

    When you’re ready to cook, light your fire or barbecue and when you have a hot bed of glowing embers, lay the pork slices side by side on the grill. The heat under the grill should be hot, but not super-hot. 

    Let the pork slices sizzle until the edges of the skin begin to blister and crackle and the pork itself is dark and crisp. Once it’s got to this stage on the first side, turn the slices over and cook the other side until looking equally delicious.

    Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes before serving with some cold ciders.

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