Jerk Pork Belly w Crispy Crackling

I love all types of food, but when I close my eyes and think emotionally it’s always Jamaican food that lives in my heart and this is one of the best EVER!

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook time: 1hr 30

Serves: 6


200g piquant peppers, drained
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves, fresh
1 large spring onion, chopped
2 tsp allspice, ground
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp salt
1kg pork belly, bone out (skin scored)
2 tbsp oil (olive, peanut, canola)


Preheat oven to 220.

Place the marinade ingredients in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend until you have a nice chunky pesto consistency.

Sprinkle the salt on your bench (roughly to the shape of your pork).  Place the pork skin side down on the salt and gently press down.

Take a sharp knife and score the flesh, about halfway through, then turn the pork around and go the other way, so you now have what looks like a pork chess board!!!!

Being careful NOT to get any on the skin, spoon the marinade onto the scored flesh and push it into the meat with your fingers or the back of a spoon.  Take your time and really massage into the meat.  Rub all around the edges.

Pour the oil into a roasting tin and place your pork skin side up into the oil and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.  You get the best out of the pork when the meat is roasted at room temperature.

Take some kitchen paper and blot out any moisture from the pork skin (sprinkle over a little more salt).  Place in the oven and roast on high for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180.

Roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the pork is falling apart and the crackling is crips and deeply golden, a little burnt is good too (flavour people, flavour).

Serve : as part of a roast dinner or with warm fresh baps, my apple or coconut slaw, cold beers and plenty of friends.

Jax Says : If you haven’t managed to get crispy crackling, ever fear, to get it very quickly once you’re removed it from the oven. Heat a large frying pan and when it’s almost smoking, place your pork skin side down in the pan.  Place a large piece of foil over the base of the cooked meat and using an oven glove, carefully press the pork down very firmly.  All the fat will render out of the skin and it will become nice and crispy.  This should take about 2 – 3 minutes.  Remove rom the pan and rest before slicing.