- ½ Cup brown sugar
- 4T kosher salt
- 2T crushed red pepper
- 1T black pepper
- 1T chopped fresh thyme
- 2T fennel seeds
- 2 crushed bay leaves
- 1T vinegar
- 1 large pork belly with the skin still on (about 6–7 pounds)
- Preheat oven to 325˚F.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl (brown sugar, salt, peppers, fennel, and bay leaves).
- Rub the skin side of the pork belly with vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Massage the dry rub into the meat side and all over the skin side thoroughly so that the belly is evenly covered and seasoned all over.
- Place the belly, skin side up, on a large sheet pan.
- Roast in the oven for about 2½ hours until the skin is golden, very crisp and the pork is cooked through. Cut the meat into large chunks and serve with your favorite greens and black eyed peas. Yum!
This dish serves a whole lot of people, so save it for a dinner party or scale it down a bit for 2–6 people. Think 5–8 ounces of meat per person and use good judgment with as much seasoning as you might need when adjusting.
You can purchase pork bellies through special order from a butcher shop, or better yet, get to know your hog farmer! If you join a meat CSA or become friends with a farmer in your community, pork bellies—and all manner of delicious pork parts—will become readily available to you.