*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer here
Looking for an easy Sunday roast recipe? Or simply a great mid-week dinner that you can get ready before you even leave for work? Look no further than this slow cooker pork belly. It gives the most unbelievably tender meat, with ridiculously crispy crackling from a final stint in the oven which you can do while preparing your side dishes. The beautifully flavoured stock in which it’s cooked is also quickly transformed into a rich gravy…
Can you overcook pork belly?
While you can overcook pork belly, the good news about slow cooking it is that it is very difficult to overdo things. You can cook this on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours. But if it stays in an hour or two longer, it really won’t be a big deal.
Can you freeze it?
You can freeze cooked pork belly quite successfully. It’s good to portion it into freezer bags and then squeeze the air out and seal first so that you don’t have any issues with freezer burn.
You can also freeze the gravy. I suggest freezing it separately if you plan to freeze both.
Alternatively this recipe works fine with uncooked, frozen pork belly. Defrost thoroughly before adding it to the slow cooker.
What can I serve it with?
This pork belly is perfect as the star of the show. Make it with the gravy as directed and you can pair it with a couple of vegetable dishes and some potatoes to help mop up the juices. I recommend these parmesan and rocket mashed potatoes or these lemon and thyme roast potatoes. For vegetable sides, you can serve this garlic roasted tenderstem broccoli or these Mediterranean roasted vegetables.
If you want to make this pork belly to use in other dishes, such as stir-frys, then just use the stock (without the balsamic or spices/herbs) and simply skip the steps for the gravy. The meat will be just as tender and the crackling as crispy, but without any flavours infused that might conflict with your recipe.
For this slow cooker pork belly you need the following ingredients (if you want an unflavoured pork belly without the gravy for use in another recipe, then leave out the balsamic, honey and cumin/thyme.
- Pork belly, allow around 200g, uncooked, per person
- Garlic clove(s)
- Dried cumin – can be substituted with ground coriander seeds
- Dried thyme
- Onion – brown or white
- Cornflour (or cornstarch if you are in the US)
- Chicken stock – or vegetable stock also works
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive oil
How to make it
First roughly slice the onion and spread across the bottom of the slow cooker.
Pat the skin of the pork belly to dry with kitchen roll. Score the skin with a sharp knife (you might actually find it easier to use a serrated knife and saw into the skin, if you don’t have a very sharp knife.)
Rub the cumin and thyme into the skin side of the pork and season very well. Place the pork skin-side up on top of the onion in the slow cooker.
Mix together the stock, garlic and balsamic. Pour around the pork into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Cook the pork on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Once the pork has nearly finished slow cooking, pre-heat the oven to 200C / 400F. Remove the pork from the oven and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
While the pork is in the oven prepare the gravy. Skim any fat from the top of the slow cooker juices. Strain the juice into a pan and place over a medium high heat.
Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with double the volume water until fully combined. Add the cornflour/cornstarch to the gravy mixture in the pan and bring to a low simmer. Cook until thickened.
Slice the pork and serve, with the gravy drizzled over the top.
Looking for other great slow cooker pork recipes? Check out this slow cooker pork paprikash.
Products that work well for this recipe:
Food Hugger Set
Sear and Stew Slow Cooker
Beeswax Food Wraps
Super tender, melt-in-the-mouth slow cooker pork belly, finished with a short stint in the oven to get that extra-crispy crackling. Perfect for a weekend roast.
The default recipe serves 3-4
- 1 piece of pork belly, around 750g
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp dried cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 onion, red or brown
- 1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- Roughly chop the onion and spread across the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Pat the skin of the pork belly with some paper towel to dry. Slask the skin in a crisis cross fashion using a very sharp knife. Rub the cumin and thyme into the skin and season well. Place the pork over the onion in the slow cooker.
- Mix together the stock. balsamic, honey and garlic and pour it around the pork.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
- Heat the oven to 200C / 400F and transfer the pork onto a lined baking tray. Roast in the oven for around 45 minutes until the skin is crisp and browned.
- While the pork is roasting in the oven prepare the gravy. Skim any large pools of fat off the top of the slow cooker liquid with a spoon. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with double the volume of liquid until the flour is fully dissolved in the water. Pour into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid has thickened.
- Slice the pork and serve with the gravy drizzled over the top.
If you want to use the pork in other dishes so don’t want it strongly flavoured then just use the stock and garlic and leave out the thyme, cumin, balsamic and honey.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: British
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 1000
- Fat: 99g
- Carbohydrates: 7g
- Protein: 17g
Keywords: pork, slow cooker, dinner, roast, meat, comfort food