Recipe courtesy of Tuc Craft Kitchen

Pork Belly Crackling

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 day 22 hr 55 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 18 servings
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1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup chili powder 

1/8 cup kosher salt, plus additional as needed 

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted and crushed 

1 tablespoon ground black pepper, plus additional as needed 

1 pork belly, skin on 

8 quarts Veal Stock, recipe follows, cool

1 cup red wine 

3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped 

1 carrot, coarsely chopped 

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped 

Oil, for frying

4 ounces Star Anise Red Wine Reduction, recipe follows

Veal Stock:

20 pounds veal bones

8 stalks celery, coarsely chopped 

6 medium carrots, coarsely chopped 

3 onions, coarsely chopped 

2 cups tomato paste 

2 cups red wine 

8 dried bay leaves 

1/2 cup whole peppercorns

Star Anise Red Wine Reduction:

2 pounds brown sugar

4 cups red wine vinegar 

8 star anise pods 

8 oranges, zested and juiced

3 cinnamon sticks 


  1. Combine brown sugar, chili powder, salt, allspice, fennel seed and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Score pork belly all over with a sharp knife, making a crisscross of lines 1/2 inch apart. (Do not cut past fat.)
  3. Carefully work the rub into both skin and meat sides and allow to cure 8 hours or up to 2 days in the fridge.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Cut pork belly into 3 equal pieces and place in a hotel pan or roasting tray. Cover with Veal Stock and add red wine, celery, carrot and onion. Cover with foil and bake until a knife inserts easily, about 3 1/2 hours. Allow pork belly to sit in the stock for 30 minutes to reabsorb juices. Remove to a clean tray with two metal spatulas. Cool to 70 degrees within 2 hours and 40 degrees within 4 hours.
  6. Bring oil to 350 degrees F in a deep-fryer. Cut pork into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Fry until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Toss in Star Anise Red Wine Reduction, then season with salt and pepper. Serve with extra Star Anise Red Wine Reduction on the side.

Veal Stock:

Yield: 20 quarts
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine bones, celery, carrots, onions and tomato paste in a roasting tray and roast, stirring twice to ensure aromatic vegetables and bones, until dark brown in color, about 1 hour.
  3. Transfer bones and vegetables to a very large stockpot. Place roasting tray on stove top over medium-high heat, add red wine to the tray and cook, scraping drippings from the bottom until completely dislodged. Pour the contents into the stockpot and cover with 20 quarts cold water.
  4. Place stockpot over low heat, add bay leaves and peppercorns and simmer for 24 hours, skimming the top regularly to remove impurities.
  5. Strain stock through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Cool to 70 degrees within 2 hours and 40 degrees within 4 hours.

Star Anise Red Wine Reduction:

Yield: 2 quarts
  1. Add brown sugar, vinegar, star anise, orange zest and juice, cinnamon sticks and 3 cups water to a medium saucepot over medium heat. Simmer sauce until reduced by a third to a half, for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Cool and set aside.