Roast pork belly with potatoes and cranberry sauce

There are so many ways to cook it to perfection and turn it into such a gourmet treat.

I know that my beloved vegan friends feel a bit disappointed every time I make a recipe that includes meat but as I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t  a vegan blog. I absolutely love vegan recipes but sometimes, not very often, I also like to cook meat. My goal is to keep a balanced diet that includes all kinds of foods, without excess but with moderation and respect towards everyone’s dietary choices.

So, let’s talk about pork! Pork definitely doesn’t appear on our table very often and when it does, it’s mostly during the holiday season. Although it’s delicious, rich in flavour (with all that super tasty extra fat), quite affordable compared to other kinds of meat and rich in protein, pork has built a somewhat bad reputation when it comes to its nutritional value and it seems that consuming it might also entail certain risks.

As kids, we were used to eating pork quite regularly, way more often than other kinds of meat, but things seem to have changed lately. Studies have shown that pigs are omnivorous animals that are capable of eating anything, including things that are unsuitable for human consumption. According to experts, pork products may also contain harmful bacteria that can be extremely dangerous to humans, just like poultry.

Experts suggest that when cooking meat, we need to pay extra attention to where it is sourced from, always prefer fresh organic options and be very cautious with preserving and cooking it.

Pork and poultry are always cooked to done or well done. There’s no chance you will ever find a pork or poultry carpaccio dish served anywhere and that’s of course not just incidental. They have to be cooked to a specific temperature for a specific amount of time depending on the cut, to make sure they’re absolutely safe to be consumed.

All that aside, if we find well-sourced, organic pork and cook it properly, what we get is a delicious meal. In my mind, pork is associated with festive dinners during the Christmas season and it’s usually combined with fruits.. Roast pork with quince and celery for example! Perhaps it’s because that’s what our mothers and grandmothers used to make.

I recently received some good-quality pork from an organic farm and amongst all the different cuts they were kind enough to send me, there it was, a piece of pork belly. Pork belly is commonly used in many cuisines and it’s considered a very special treat although I find it a bit too fatty for my liking. But that’s what makes it so tasty.

I’ve gathered tons of recipes throughout the years, so I naturally have more than a few for pork belly. There are so many ways to cook it to perfection and turn it into such a gourmet treat. In my opinion, since pork belly is so rich in fat, it needs to balance out with fresh and fruity flavours. I guess that’s why it’s deeply associated with fruit and vegetable recipes.



Today, besides roast pork, I made a very simple fresh cranberry sauce that really added a touch of freshness to my dish with its fruity, sweet and sour taste. Sweet flavours blend perfectly with pork, as well as herbs. Fresh rosemary and sage sprigs can work miracles and will absolutely turn this dish into something extraordinary! And don’t forget the pepper!


For the pork:

1 piece of skin scored pork belly, 1-1.200kg

Sea salt, pepper

4tbsp olive oil

1tbsp Dijon mustard

2-3garlic cloves

3-4 fresh sage sprigs

2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs

½ cup beer


For the potatoes:

4 medium potatoes, cut in thick slices

4tbsp olive oil

Sea salt, pepper

Rosemary and sage leaves


For the cranberry sauce:

1 cup fresh, washed cranberries

1/3 cup granulated sugar

A bit of lemon juice


1. Pork belly. Wash and dry the meat very well. Using a sharp blade, run the knife down the skin of the pork at 1/2cm intervals, then run it across the skin to form a cross-hatch pattern. Season with salt and pepper. In a cup, mix the mustard with oil and spread it onto the meat. Peel the garlic cloves. Prepare a baking tray. You can use a piece of baking paper if you want. Place the garlic cloves, sage and rosemary sprigs on the baking tray and add the meat on top with the skin-side up. Heat the oven to 220C. Pour the beer over the pork and roast for 30 minutes until the skin gets crispy and golden. Reduce the heat to 170C and roast for 2 more hours.

2. Potatoes. Wash the potatoes and cut them into thick slices. Season with salt and pepper, add olive oil and blend with the rosemary and sage leaves. About 1 hour before the pork is done, open the oven and add the potatoes into the baking tray. Return the pork to the oven and continue cooking.

3. Cranberry sauce. In a small pot, add the cranberries, sugar and lemon and boil until you have a not too thick sauce.

4. Let the pork cool down. Cut it into slices and scatter the slices on a wooden carving board. Add the potatoes and serve with the cranberry sauce.