Recipe: Lip smackin’ belly pork and crackling

Apprentice chef Hannah Poulter outside the Viaduct Cafe  at Dean Clough.
Apprentice chef Hannah Poulter outside the Viaduct Cafe at Dean Clough.
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Chef tutor Paul Johnson and his apprentice Hannah Poulter reveal a recipe behind the popular new Sunday roasts at the Chefs’ School at the Viaduct Cafe

With the introduction and growing success of our Sunday lunches at The Chefs’ School at the Viaduct Café, Hannah tells us how she makes this wonderful roast pork belly with perfect light, crispy crackling.

“This roast pork is so simple and turns out perfect every time,” says Hannah (17).

“When I was first asked to cook the roast I was a bit scared of over cooking or spoiling the crackling, but if you follow this recipe it is foolproof.

It asks for garlic and onion, but if you would like to throw in a bit of chopped sage and a roughly cut apple it really complements the salty pork with a fragrance from the sage and a slight tang from the apples.”

If you are not a fan of sage then thyme is also a perfect accompaniment to the cooking process of this pork.

The other great advantage of this is that pork belly is one of the more affordable cuts. However, just because it’s low cost don’t be fooled into thinking that the end result will taste cheap - follow this recipe and I guarantee you could serve your perfect roast in any top restaurant. Enjoy!

Roast Pork Belly with Crackling

(This recipe serves 4)


750g pork belly (rind on)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

½ level teaspoon salt

1 onion – peeled and sliced

4 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

2 sage leaves

1 tablespoon oil


- sharp knife

- chopping board

- plate

- steamer

- roasting tin

How to make it

1. Place the pork on a plate and drizzle with white wine vinegar. Sprinkle liberally with the salt and refrigerate, uncovered for 2-3 hours.

2. Place the pork belly in a steamer for approximately 1 hour and cook until tender.

3. Heat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Put the sliced onion, garlic, bay leaves and sage in a medium-sized roasting tray. Place the steamed pork on top and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

4. Place the pork in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove the pork and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the crackling in 1 piece and cut into portions. Cut the pork into slices and serve with the crackling.

For extra crispy crackling, refrigerate overnight before steaming.

What’s on at the Cooking School

September 4 & 11 CROISSANT & SWEET PASTRY MASTERCLASS - become an artisan baker (£75 for 2


September 14 FANTASTIC FISH - put a range of fish prep techniques into practice on the catch of the day (£145).