Wicked Roasted Pork Belly

I find it funny sometimes when you look at things everyday and think the same thoughts about them … and then one day a ‘snap’ happens and you see things in a different light. This happened to me the other day as I was in the Asian grocery store looking at all of the meat at the meat counter.

The Paleo community seems to have this affinity with bacon. I have always thought this mildly strange as we are supposed to stay away from all things processed…meats included. Now to my mind, bacon is a ‘processed meat’, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong here (I can here all of you paleos clamoring to get at me for desecrating the sacred bacon lust), I love me the bacon!! I’m just sayin’ it kinda flies in the face of what most of us are supposed to believe.

So, here I was looking at this meat counter and my eye graze across the pork section, the ribs, loins, shoulders, hocks and there off to the side, the pork bellies (boneless or boned). That’s when it happened…

internal dialog

“Pork belly…  Pork belly… Pork belly… Hey isn’t that what Bacon is made from??”

“Why yes it is sir!”


“If I get one of these, I  can make something Baconesque and be totally on track”

So there you have it. I bought one, cooked it and ate it quilt free at the alter of breaking any paleo guidelines.

The recipe feeds 2-4 Paleo eaters and takes about 3 1/2 hours to cook.


  • 2-3lbs Pork Belly (bone in)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Stalks Celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Lrg Beer


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. With a sharp knife, remove the ribs from the underside of the pork belly and reserve.
  3. With a sharp knife, slice the skin (trying not to go all the way to the meat).
  4. Rub in the thyme, salt and pepper all around the meat and into the grooves in the skin.
  5. Coarsely cut the carrots, onion, and celery, placing them into the bottom of a roasting pan.
  6. Cut the ribs apart and lay on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
  7. Place the pork belly, skin side up, on top of the ribs in the roasting pan.
  8. Put into the oven for about 45 minutes or until the skin turns a golden brown and is bubbly.
  9. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees for 90 minutes.
  10. Add the large beer carefully to the roasting pan and cook another 60 minutes.


Pork bellyOnce the roast is cooked, remove it from the oven, place it on a cutting board and let it rest for a while. Using a strainer, pour the cooking liquid into a bowl, mashing the vegetable with the back of a large spoon through the strainer as well. Put the ‘gravy’ aside for later.

To serve, remove the crackling to a plate and set aside. You can go two ways here: 1. pull apart the meat into shredded hunks or 2. Slice lengthwise into thick strips… either way works well and is equally delicious. Place the meat onto a serving platter along with the crackling and pour over with the reserved gravy.

The cooked pork belly can be chilled overnight and then slices can be fried as “Bacon” with breakfast. So effing good!!

I sincerely hope you enjoy this recipe.

12 thoughts on “Wicked Roasted Pork Belly

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  • March 11, 2011 at 12:54 am

    That looks fantastic. In defense of bacon, yeah, it’s processed, but not heavily. You could have made your own with that slab of pork belly in a few days without much work. I made a bunch from a hog we bought last fall and we’ve been living off it for months.

    • March 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

      Not only does it look fantastic it was fantastic…gone now. The bacon dig is sort of in jest as I eat a lot of it myself and there are some paleo folks who get a little high strung about paleo purity.

      Please tell how to turn it into bacon… I would really appreciate that knowledge.

      • March 17, 2011 at 8:07 am

        Ah I missed the sarcasm. 🙂 I loooove my bacon, and the homemade stuff even better for knowing exactly what’s in it.

        I recently posted a really simple recipe on my own blog, or you can google it and get a pretty good idea. I’ve found it difficult to mess up.


        Would love a report if you make some of your own.

  • March 11, 2011 at 9:49 am

    i have always seen pork belly at the asain grocery store but not anywhere else. you have inspired me to buy some. the question is, does it taste like bacon in the end? btw, are the prices at your asain grocery less than just about anywhere else? mine is ridiculously low.

    • March 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Does it taste like bacon… not really. It tastes like a really fantastic roast pork shoulder… All that fat!!
      Yes, my Asian grocers prices are super low for the most part. They always have a sale on some thing… $0.99 a pound for short ribs the other day. Their pricing may be padded by the sale of all the meat products the rest of us wouldn’t buy at our grocers ie: turkey necks, chicken feet, pork/beef/chicken bones, tongues, spleens, hooves etc…

  • March 23, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for the great recipe.

    Quick question, every time I cook with pork belly the skin always ends out a bit soft and rubbery.
    I always rub it with salt, give it the high heat treatment and then I turn it down after about 20-30 min.

    The weird thing is that when I do a pork roast the crackling is fine, belly though, I just don’t know where I am going wrong.

    Just wondering if you have noticed any difference between cooking roast with belly?

  • March 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Man…that looks good. So, you were a chef for 17 years huh? I think you should consider putting out a paleo-recipe book. Even though there’s already a few out right now, awareness of the paleo diet is still fairly low. And the more paleo-recipe books out, the more awareness spreads. Great looking blog, btw.

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  • October 7, 2011 at 5:02 am

    I followed this recipe. Are you sure all the secret tender touches of an experienced Pork Belly Roaster are within it? My attempt (my first at pork belly) is pitiful (compared to what I have had in restaurants). Hard, dry. Vegetables burnt hours ago and had to be rescued. Gravy too bitter to consider using. Like jerky but less flavorsome and harder to swallow. I feel like I should have bought bacon instead. I certainly would prefer bacon for dinner.

    • October 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      It seems to me that you may have done something wrong here.

      You say the vegetables burnt “hours ago”. The total cooking time is 2hrs 15mins?

      Did you turn the temperature down to 325 degrees after 45 minutes at 425?? Sounds like maybe you didn’t.

      I have made this recipe at least 8 times since posting it here and it has always turned out tender, juicy and succulent.

      I hope you will try again and let me know how it turns out.

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