I would have to call this my signature dish because we have it at least once a week and I love that every time I make this dish, the crackling is just perfect due to to the way I baste the pork belly. That is the secret to making this dish so good. It isn't just a recipe where you throw the meat in the oven and let it cook itself, you have to also give it some love as it continues to cook.
The first thing you need to do is cut the grooves into the meat so that the oven heat and roasting process can spread throughout the meat consistently. The second important part is to make sure that you coat the meat in the oil and spices before cooking because it starts to roast immediately, and don't let the high heat of the oven scare you. I promise that as long as you follow the recipe my way, nothing will burn.
The meat should look like this before it goes in.
The method is below, but I wanted to write up some extra help with this one so I'm hoping the pictures help. I usually cook the pork belly on its own for the first 15 minutes and then baste it in the fat the meat releases before I add the vegetables to it to continue the roast process. Sometimes the veges can be tricky when draining the fat so that you can baste the meat in it over and over, so if you feel like it will be too hard, just use a separate pan for the vegetables.
This is what you are looking for with the meat and vegetables, so once your crackling begins to look like this, you're almost there. I would suggest one more baste and another ten minutes in the oven after this point which is usually just over an hour. Those final minutes really make the difference with the crackling which we all like to have a bit of when cooking pork belly. My kids absolutely love that part.
And finally, don't forget to let the pork belly roast rest for about ten minutes out of the oven before carving it up to serve. It allows all the juices to settle and creates a more flavorsome meat. What more can I say. It's delicious.
*carve grooves into the skin of the pork belly to help it cook
*add it to a roasting tray and season and rub oil into the top of the skin
*chop all vegetables and season with the same seasoning and throw in with the roast
*bake in the oven on 250 degrees Celsius or 480 Fahrenheit
*every 15 minutes, drain the fat from the pan and baste the roast with the fat. This is the trick to get the crackling to perfection without burning it. You may prefer to roast the vegetables separately to make this easier for yourself
*at some point, coat the vegetables in the meat fat too for the meaty taste
*roast like this for about one and a half hours
*serve with home made apple sauce and chili for extra flavour