Recipe: Crispy pork belly with caramel vinegar

Crispy pork belly with caramel vinegar. Photo: Vanessa Lewis

Crispy pork belly with caramel vinegar. Photo: Vanessa Lewis

Pair the sweet and juicy meat with a fruity, full-bodied rosé to complement the dish.


1kg pork belly
30ml (2 tbsp) coarse salt
olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Caramel vinegar
125ml (½ cup) brown sugar
125ml (½ cup) white wine vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 green chilli, chopped
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
juice and rind of 1 lemon
¼ each red and yellow pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 packet bok choi, to serve
Steamed rice, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Score the skin of the pork belly in a criss-cross pattern with a Stanley knife (a very sharp utility knife with a retractable blade) or ask your butcher to do it for you.

2. Rub salt into the skin and set aside for 30 minutes. Wipe salt off with kitchen paper and dry thoroughly.

3. Drizzle a large roasting tin with olive oil. Place the pork belly skin-side down in the tin. Drizzle with more oil and season. Roast the pork for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C and cook for another 1 hour.

4. Carefully turn the meat over and cook until skin is crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

5. For the caramel vinegar, heat the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon stick and green chilli in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until syrupy, stir in the chicken stock and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 more minutes.

6. Add the lemon juice and rind, and pepper strips. Simmer gently until thick and syrupy. Season to taste.

7. Slice the pork and drizzle with the caramel vinegar. Serve with steamed bok choi and steamed rice.

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