Crackled Pork Belly with Pears and Fennel

Deliciously crisp pork belly is a cracker of a dish that finds its ‘opposites-attract’ soulmate in this melt-in-the-mouth chardonnay.


1.5-kilogram piece boneless pork belly, skin-on
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, cut into thick wedges through the root
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into thick wedges through the root
1 leek, thickly sliced
4 small, firm but ripe pears, halved
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
Small handful thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 220°C fan bake.

Score the pork belly skin with a very sharp knife. Spread the mustard over the flesh side then season with salt and pepper. Rub the skin with a little oil and season with salt only.

Place all the remaining ingredients, except the maple syrup, in a large roasting dish. Season generously and toss together. Drizzle the maple syrup over the cut side of the pears. Place the pork, skin side up, on top of the vegetables.

Roast for 30 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C fan bake. Roast for a further 1 hour, or until the pork is very tender when pierced with a skewer. If the skin needs more crisping, place the pork on an ovenproof tray and turn the oven to grill. Cook for a couple of minutes but watch it carefully as it can quickly catch and burn.

Serves 6



We’ve called this Chardonnay buttery because it is smooth, creamy and simply melts in your mouth. The beautifully integrated toasty oak results in flavours of brioche and vanilla, while still enabling the delightful ripe stone fruit characters to shine through.



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