Prep time:

Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Total time:

Serves: 6

For the pork:

2.5kg pork belly, deboned and scored

1 bunch of thyme, leaves picked

1tbsp good quality fine sea salt

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

vegetable, or other neutral oil butcher’s string

For the potatoes:

1.2kg pink fir potatoes or other waxy potatoes

½ bulb of garlic

2 large sprigs of rosemary

extra virgin olive oil

1tsp sea salt

For the herb, mustard, and caper sauce:

½tbsp capers

½tbsp Dijon mustard

2 cloves of garlic grated

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch mint

½ bunch fresh oregano

½ bunch of tarragon

1tsp red wine vinegar

300ml extra virgin olive oil

300ml extra virgin rapeseed oil

½tsp sea salt

Pork belly is one of my favourite things to cook and eat, I am obsessed with the gorgeous meat, the flavourful layers of fat, and the constant challenge in making the skin crackle! It’s an endless and generous process. What a forgiving piece of meat! And the great thing is that we produce one of the best, if not the best, breed of pig on our doorstep. Basically, my career is a love letter to British pork.

Ask your butcher to remove bones and score skin for you – a very important step.

For the pork:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C fan assisted, or 230°C if not. Combine the thyme with the salt and black pepper. Massage the seasoning in well to the flesh side of the meat.
  2. Roll the belly as tight as possible, skin side out and secure with butcher’s string at 1-inch intervals. Pat dry and season the skin with good quality fine sea salt, rubbing into the score marks on the skin and a tiny amount of vegetable neutral oil.
  3. Put the rolled belly onto a wired tray and place inside a large, heavy based roasting tray, ideally with deep sides and handles for easy movement. Pour in cup of water to the bottom of the tray, without wetting the meat. Roast in the centre of the hot oven for 40-45 minutes until the skin is crackling and crispy all over.
  4. Carefully remove the pork. If you have a meat probe, the internal temperature should be no more than 63°C and the pork should be juicy, tender, and full of flavour. Rest the meat, uncovered, for a least 20 minutes before carving.

For the potatoes:

Turn the oven down to 200°C while the pork is resting and boil the potatoes in well salted water until tender. Drain and tip into a large roasting try and add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Gently crush the potatoes to break the skin, more surface area means extra crispy potatoes. Roast for 20 minutes until crispy.

For the herb, mustard, and caper sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, adding the oils slowly. Taste and adjust seasoning with vinegar and salt. This herby green sauce tastes best when prepared the day before as the flavours relax.

To serve:
Carve a thick slice of pork belly per person and plate with the crispy potatoes, herb and mustard sauce and wilted greens of your choice.

Serves 6 Prep and cooking: Approx. 2 hours.

The Union’s team takes pride in hand making as much of their menu as possible in house, crafting ricotta, black pudding, crackers and ice creams by sourcing the very best ingredients they can from the East Sussex and Kentish larders. To find out more about their unpretentious, simple and restrained plates of food, and to book a table, visit or call 01797 229289.

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