The Crooked Billet

Slow Roasted Belly Pork, Oyster Sauce, Sweet Potato Confit

Serves 6

Slow Roasted Belly Pork, Oyster Sauce, Sweet Potato Confit

I was in Gabriel Machins butcher shop the other day. Ian, the boss, was enthusing about some grilled belly slices his wife had cooked for dinner, which reminded me of this scrumptious recipe. Belly is quite fatty, so benefits from slow roasting.

Belly pork doesn’t usually feature on the supermarket radar, so you will need to visit a traditional butcher. Ask them to bone & rind the joint for you, a piece about 4lbs will feed six people. Support your high street butcher, there are only 4860 qualified butchers left in Great Britain, their average age is 55 – with very few apprentices joining the trade!


2kg belly pork, removed from the bone, rind scored

2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

Malden salt, freshly ground pepper

50ml sesame oil

For the Sweet Potato Confit:

1kg sweet potato, peeled & diced

Vegetable oil for cooking

2 garlic cloves, peeled

Handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Malden salt, freshly ground black pepper

1 large red chilli, de-seeded & chopped

Put the belly pork in a roasting tray & sprinkle the fat side with Chinese five spice, salt & pepper. Pour a little sesame oil over & bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C, gas mark 3, for 3 hours. When crispy skinned, tender succulent meat, remove from oven, rest for 15 minutes, slice before serving.

Meanwhile make the sweet potato confit. Put the sweet potatoes in a pan & cover with oil. Add the garlic & cook slowly until the potatoes are tender. Drain off the oil before serving. Sprinkle over the coriander, chilli & seasoning. In the photo I’ve accompanied my pork & potato with wok sautéed Bok Choi & a chefy drizzle of hoi sin.