Crispy Skin Pork with Lemon Aioli

Paleo – serves 3 – 4

Part 2 of our Christmas dinner. This is Karen Martini’s pork recipe which we watched on Better Homes and Garden’s the other night. I’m not sure if cooking the pork in two stages really increases the moisture or “meltability in your mouth” of the meat, however this is a different and interesting way to cook roast pork, if you have the time, as you have to start preparation the day before.

Crispy Skin Pork


  • 1.4kg pork belly, with a good layer of fat on the top
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp celtic sea salt
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 2 baby fennels, cut into three, lengthways


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place pork belly in a baking dish, and cover in boiling water. Add bay leaves and a good pinch of salt and cook for 1 hour in the oven
  • Remove the pork, drain off the water, and score the top of the pork belly in criss crosses, ensuring you cut enough into the skin but not all the way down to the meat
  • Place some baking paper on top of the pork, and then place another baking tray with heavy weight in it (Karen uses canned vegetables/beans) on top of the pork to keep it flat. Place in the fridge over night
  • Combine fennel seeds, peppercorns and celtic sea salt in a mortar and pestle, and grind. Rub onto the top of the pork, ensuring you get some of the seeds get into the creases in the skin
  • Place pork belly on a bed of fennel in a baking dish, add 200ml of water and cook for 1 hour at 200 degrees. Check every 20 minutes and add more water to the bottom of the dish if required. In the last 15 minutes, either increase the heat to 220 degrees to get a good crispy skin or put the grill on in the oven. Watch very closely so as not burn the skin
  • Remove, let sit for 5 minutes and slice

Lemon Aioli

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 150ml light olive oil
  • Whisk together yolk, dijon mustard and lemon juice. Very slowly, add olive oil drizzle by drizzle, whisking continuously


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