Recipe: Spanish inspired pork belly

Ok, here’s the thing about belly pork: It’s like 90% fat. That’s fine, but it can be easy to cook it in such a way that when you’re done eating it you kind of wish you hadn’t. There are also ways to cook it that can almost make you kid yourself that it’s kind of healthy. This is closer to one of those.


It’s inspired by a pork dish I ate in Madrid in a restaurant that had no English menus. It was snowing outside at the time (yeah, I visited Madrid in late November) and we didn’t want to move on to a different restaurant because the one we were in was warm. So we just pointed at the menu and hoped for the best. It worked out ok.


Serves 2 very hungry people.


  • 500g sliced pork belly
  • salt
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • handful cherry tomatoes
  • ½ green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, pealed and chopped
  • handful fresh basil



  • Pat the pork dry. Rub salt into the fat. Line a deep tray with foil and heat the oven to 200 C.
  • I wanted the sliced belly pork to stand upright so that the fat at the top was open to the heat of the oven (I was aiming for a little crackling). So I made a kind of rack for it out of cooking foil. That way it stood up, the fat was exposed but the meat was protected. As the fat melted it would be absorbed by the other ingredients because it’s not trapped in there.
  • Set that aside and start to boil the peal, chopped potatoes in plenty of water. They need to boil for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the onions, tomatoes chilli and green pepper in the foil-lined tray with the pork. Put it in the oven.
  • When the potatoes have cooked for ten minutes, drain them and arrange them on the tray with everything else. Wait another 20 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the peppers. Wait another 10 minutes.
  • Add the basil. Wait five minutes.
  • Removed from the oven and serve.

The pork fat should have crackled and the potatoes and vegetables will have absorbed it’s flavour as well as the flavours from the chilli and basil. You shouldn’t need any cooking oil because the pork is fatty enough but feel free to add a bit if things are sticking too much. Those tomatoes are just going to melt. It’s so bright and colourful with the peppers and tomatoes that you know you’re getting a bunch of vitamins with your comfort food.



Originally posted here:


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