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Pork Belly Bites with a Sticky Gluhwein Glaze

Sticky pork belly bites wrapped in a gluhwein inspired, red wine & brown sugar glaze flavoured with cloves, cinnamon, mace, & star anise.

This is a slowly cooked recipe that takes around 2 hours to cook, but only around 20 minutes of that time involves you working in the kitchen.

Portrait image of sticky gluhwein pork belly bites served with potato wedges and snipped chives

Mulled Wine Pork Belly Chunks

I adore pork belly, a cheaper cut of meat that is only rivalled by the pork knuckle when it comes to flavour as far as I am concerned!

It is outstanding simply roasted like my pork belly strips or my slow roast pork belly joint.

Thanks to its huge flavour it is equally adept with sitting alongside bold sauces and glazes, it absolutely sings in my Indonesian babi chin and Vietnamese pork belly recipes.

This recipe does that with flavours from every European themed Christmas market around the world.

Whether you call it gluhwein, mulled wine, forralt bor or glögg, the taste and aroma is quintessentially winter!

These pork belly bites fill your house with that aroma and the sticky brown sugar glaze doubles down on the flavour.

We have mace, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves all mingling in the sweet and sticky glaze.

The technique I use to prepare this pork is identical to my sticky pineapple pork belly. That recipe has a video so click through and take a look if you need some help.

Portrait close up image of sticky gluhwein pork belly bites served with potato wedges and snipped chives

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of pork belly should I buy?

As I have mentioned, I love pork belly and buy it in big slabs and then cut it up into portions.

You are likely much better off speaking to a butcher about a nice piece of pork belly rather than your supermarket.

However, if you hunt around you can find thick-cut pork belly strips in some supermarkets that will work well in this recipe. Aldi and Lidl seem about the best that I have found in the UK.

What sort of red wine should I use?

The red wine you choose for these pork belly cubes should be decent drinking wine. But don’t go crazy with something expensive!

I personally favour a Syrah or a Shiraz but a merlot would work well.

Do I have to use red wine vinegar?

I like to use red wine vinegar to keep the whole thing neat and tidy on the flavour front.

However, this recipe works just as well with white wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar. It exists to provide a sour counterpoint to the sweetness and does not impart a huge flavour.

Portrait overhead image of sticky gluhwein pork belly bites served with potato wedges and snipped chives

Serving Suggestions

I love serving this recipe with some perfectly cooked salty potatoes.

Either crispy fried potatoes, straw potatoes or some potato wedges as pictured here work wonderfully against the sweet and sour sticky glaze. As do my wonderful cheesy polenta chips, you must check them out!

They even work well with a Waldorf salad, just be sure to scale back on the dressing on the salad to avoid things getting all a bit icky.

But these gluhwein pork belly bites also make the perfect communal appetizer or canape.

You can make them up in advance and keep them warm or reheat them.

Then serve them slightly warmed on cocktail sticks with a sharp cheddar cheese for a spectacular party nibble.

Landscape image of sticky gluhwein pork belly bites served with potato wedges and snipped chives

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ heavy-based frying pan or skillet.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Citrus Zester.
  • Sieve or colander.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Square image of sticky gluhwein pork belly bites served with potato wedges and snipped chives
Yield: 2 Servings

Gluhwein Pork Belly Bites Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

The flavour of these rich and indulgent gluhwien pork belly bites are designed to invoke memories of Christmas markets around the world, they are guaranteed to raise a smile!


  • 400g (14 oz) Pork Belly
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Blades of Mace
  • 12 Cloves
  • 3 Star Anise
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Red Wine
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Red Wine Vinegar
  • 75g (½ Cup) Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Orange (Zest only)
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 12 Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Cut the pork belly into cubes 25mm (1") in profile.
  2. Place about 5cm (2") of water in a 28cm or 11" heavy-based frying pan or skillet and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the cinnamon sticks, mace, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, and salt to the pan along with the diced pork.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes skimming off any foam that forms.
  5. Pass the pork through a sieve and return the pan to the stove over a medium-high heat. When it's hot add the oil and the pork and spices, fry for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured.
  6. Drain off any fat in the pan, then add the red wine, red wine vinegar, and dark brown sugar and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  7. Allow this to bubble down gently for 60-70 minutes stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste this sauce after 10 minutes and add more salt to taste. Remember the glaze will reduce so the intensity of the salt will increase.
  9. Zest the orange and add the zest for the final 10 minutes of the cooking time.


If it looks as though the pan is going to dry out too quickly add a little water. You could even squeeze in a little of the juice from the zested oranges.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 960Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 806mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 5gSugar: 43gProtein: 47g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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