Pork Belly Recipes

Scotland's red meat industry is known for its high standards and exceptional quality of produce. Central to this reputation is our Specially Selected Pork, a carefully bred and reared meat celebrated for its remarkable flavour, versatility, and tender texture. Sourced from pigs that have experienced whole-of-life care, these animals are respectfully reared, which greatly contributes to the quality of the meat.

Here, we delve into the variety and versatility of Scottish pork, with a focus on pork belly - a delectable cut of meat that offers an exciting plethora of mouthwatering dishes. Come on a culinary voyage with us and experience the flavour sensations of the best pork belly recipes using this tender meat.

Not All Pork is Created Equal!

When it comes to meat, not all cuts are created equal. The quality of pork depends on a variety of factors, from the breed of the pig to its diet, lifestyle, and the care it receives throughout its life. Specially Selected Pork from Scotland stands out for several reasons.

1. Whole of Life Care

This is a comprehensive approach taken by Scotland's red meat industry to ensure animals are respectfully reared from birth until they reach the market. This isn't just about ethics, although animal welfare is paramount. It is also about quality. Pigs that lead healthy, stress-free lives produce meat that is tender, flavorful, and consistent in its quality.

2. Whole Chain Assurance

Scotland's red meat industry also ensures whole chain assurance, which means that every stage of the supply chain, from farm to butcher, adheres to stringent standards. This not only guarantees the provenance of the pork but also maintains its quality. When you buy specially selected pork, you are getting meat from pigs that have been cared for in a system committed to excellence and sustainability.

3. Respectfully Reared

Respectfully reared, carefully selected, and held to the highest standards, Scottish pork offers an unrivalled eating experience. Whether you are preparing a slow-cooked pork belly or a crispy pork belly dish, the quality of the meat shines through in every bite.

4. Committed Farmers

The farmers dedicated to rearing these animals play a crucial role in the eating experience of this highly prized meat. Their commitment to best practices, from feeding to handling, ensures the welfare of the animals and ultimately results in superior-quality pork.

5. Quality Assurance

When you purchase Specially Selected Scottish pork, you can be sure that you are choosing high-quality meat from pigs that have been respectfully reared, carefully selected, and held to the highest industry standards. Every roast, every piece of crispy crackling is a testament to this unwavering commitment to quality and care.

Specially Selected Pork yields incredibly tender meat, highly prized all over the world.

Variety of Cuts and Their Uses

One of the many reasons why Scottish pork is celebrated by chefs and home cooks alike lies in the wide variety of cuts available, each offering unique flavours and textures and beautifully lending themselves to a range of delicious recipes.

  • Pork Loin: A large cut that runs along the back of the pig, the loin is lean, tender, and full of flavour. It can be cooked as a whole roast or cut into individual servings known as pork chops. It's perfect for roasting, grilling, or pan-frying and pairs beautifully with a range of seasonings and sauces.
  • Pork Shoulder: This cut is wonderfully marbled with fat, which makes it ideal for slow cooking methods such as braising or slow roasting. As it cooks, the fat slowly melts, basting the meat and resulting in tender, pull-apart pork that is perfect for dishes like pulled pork sandwiches, stews and of course everyone's favourite roast pork Sunday dinners.
  • Pork Ribs: Pork ribs are a BBQ favourite. These cuts are best when they are slow-cooked - either smoked, grilled, or oven-cooked - allowing the meat to become tender and absorb the flavours of your chosen marinade, seasoning or rub.
  • Pork Belly: This cut is a slab of meat from the belly of the pig, with layers of fat and meat. It is this amazing marbling of fat that makes pork belly so flavorful and tender when cooked correctly. It can be slow-roasted to create a crispy, crackling exterior while keeping the inside succulent and juicy. Alternatively, it can be cubed and braised for a meltingly tender texture. You can even pan-fry it for a quick supper and it tastes amazing!

Red Meat for a Healthy and Balanced Diet

Contrary to common misconceptions, red meat, such as our Specially Selected Scottish pork, can play a key role in a healthy and balanced diet. Packed with essential nutrients, it provides a rich source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, all of which are vital for overall health and well-being.

We Love Red Meat Because...

  • It Contains High-Quality Protein: Protein is essential for the growth and repair of the body's cells and tissues. Pork is an excellent source of complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs.
  • It's Full of Vitamins and Minerals: Pork is rich in several essential nutrients, including B vitamins (particularly B6 and B12), which support brain function and the formation of red blood cells. It also contains a significant amount of the minerals zinc and selenium, which are crucial for a robust immune system and for maintaining metabolic health.
  • Saturated Fat is Not All Bad: While often negatively portrayed, saturated fats are not all harmful. In fact, they serve crucial functions in the body, such as forming the core structural fats in the human body, being integral to lung and brain health, and contributing to immune function. Pork does contain saturated fat, but it is balanced with unsaturated fats. Plus, when you choose lean cuts or trim visible fat, it can easily fit within healthy dietary fat guidelines.
  • Balance and Moderation Are Key to Happiness: As with all foods, balance and moderation are key. Incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like pork, can help ensure you are getting a broad range of nutrients needed for optimal health.
Getting your nutrition calories from red meat is part of a balanced and healthy diet.

When enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, red meat like our Specially Selected Pork can contribute positively to our health and well-being. So, when you are cooking with pork, you are not only creating delicious meals but also providing your body with vital nutrients. After all, who can say no to a mouthwatering slow-cooked pork belly?!

Sharpen Your Knives & Let's Cook Pork Belly

Before we delve into the delightful world of pork belly recipes, it is important to know how to prepare this unique cut of meat properly. Many shy away from using it but once you learn the basics and the right preparation techniques, the world is your oyster.

Here are some key pointers:

  • Buying Pork Belly: The first step starts at your butcher's. Look for a pork belly with firm, pink meat and a good layer of fat. Remember that a thick layer of fat is desirable in pork belly as it renders down during cooking and contributes to the meat's tenderness and flavour. Specially Selected Scottish Pork is a particularly good choice due to its whole-life-care and whole-chain quality assurance.
  • Skin Scoring: For recipes where you want crispy skin, scoring is the most crucial step. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel and use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts in a diamond pattern across the skin, taking care not to cut into the meat itself. This process allows the fat underneath the skin to render out during cooking, resulting in deliciously crispy pork crackling.
  • Seasoning: Don't shy away from generous seasoning. Due to its richness, pork belly can handle (and actually requires) a substantial amount of seasoning. This could be as simple as a liberal amount of salt and pepper, or you could use a blend of spices, herbs and aromatics.
  • Marinating: Depending on the recipe, you may want to marinate your pork belly or pork slices before cooking. Asian recipes, for instance, often involve marinating the pork belly in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, honey, brown sugar, aromatics and other ingredients to infuse the meat with flavour.
  • Portioning: While pork belly can be cooked as a whole slab, you can also cut it into portions for different recipes. This could be thick slices for grilling (like Korean Samgyeopsal) or smaller cubes for stews and braises.
For a simple pork belly recipe, pat skin dry, score skin, rub with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and slowroast on low temperature in the oven.

Which is Your Favourite Pork Belly Dish?

Pork belly is truly a gift to global cuisine. Its rich flavour, distinctive layers of meat and fat, and the satisfyingly crispy texture it achieves when cooked properly make it a favourite in various cultures. It features in a starring role all around the world from traditional recipes to more innovative and exotic culinary creations.

  • Traditional European Dishes:

In European cuisine, pork belly has long been cherished for its hearty flavour and texture. In the UK, for instance, it's often slow-roasted to perfection with the skin crisping up to yield perfect crackling, an absolute must on the Sunday dinner menu! In Italy, on the other hand, pork belly is cured and spiced to become pancetta, a key ingredient in many pasta dishes like carbonara.

  • Asian Cuisine:

In Asia, pork belly is the star of many iconic dishes. The Chinese dish, Dong Po Pork, for instance, is a famous example where the pork belly is slow-cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine until it is tender and flavorful. In Korea, Samgyeopsal is a beloved BBQ dish featuring thick, uncured pork belly slices grilled right at the table. Japanese cuisine also celebrates pork belly, most notably in the form of Chashu, a slow-cooked, marinated pork belly rolled into a log shape, sliced thin, and served atop Ramen and sprinkled with spring onions and Asian greens.

  • Latin American Delights:

In Latin America, pork belly brings depth and richness to various dishes. Chicharrón, fried pork belly or pork scratchings, is a popular snack throughout the region. In Brazil, the 'Feijoada' stew with black beans often includes pork belly alongside other cuts, creating a dish that's bursting with exotic flavours.

  • Modern Culinary Innovations:

In recent years, chefs worldwide have been elevating pork belly, using its rich flavour and satisfying texture to create gourmet dishes. From pork belly tacos and sliders to glazed pork belly bites, the possibilities are endless and we can not wait to try them all!

From traditional to Asian and other recipes from around the world, look no futher than this website.

In every culinary tradition and contemporary innovation, the quality of the pork belly used makes a significant difference. Specially Selected Pork from Scotland with its careful rearing methods makes for a high-quality ingredient that can truly shine in every recipe.

Where Can I Find Specially Selected Pork Near Me?

We understand the importance of having access to locally sourced, high-quality produce, therefore, to make this process easier, we have put together an interactive map, which shows your nearest butcher that stocks the finest quality Specially Selected Pork.

Finding Scotch Pork is just a click away. You can enter your location, and the map will pinpoint the nearest stockists to you. It's a quick and easy way of ensuring that you are never too far from superior quality Scotch meat.

Plus, each purchase supports local farmers who are committed to maintaining Scotland's rich agricultural heritage and supplying consumers with pork that's not just tasty, but also respectfully reared. So what are you waiting for?

Explore our map today and take the first step towards creating your very own culinary masterpieces.

What's The Scotch Difference?

Let us take you on a journey into what makes Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork so special, and how we produce such high-quality meat renowned and enjoyed worldwide.