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Pork Belly Slices or Belly Draft Perfectly Roasted

Roasted pork belly slices or strips are a recipe from my childhood, they are simplicity personified, some fennel seeds, salt, pepper & an oven!

I have professed my lifelong love of cheaper cuts of meat all over this website. It always has more flavour than premium cuts and I cannot get enough them!

Portrait image of pork belly slices served on a Hungarian lecso served in a white bowl

Roast Belly Draft or Strips.

I was involved in a twitter conversation about pork a while ago trying to ascertain when this cut of meat went from belly pork to pork belly.

I was very confused as I grew up knowing it as belly draft. Apparently this is a specific name from a very small geographic region.

So if you are not from the British Midlands and you use this name please let me know in the comments!

This recipe uses pork belly strips, a rarity among cheaper cuts of meat in that it does not necessarily need long slow cooking to make it tender.

Of course, you can slow roast it in the oven as I do with my Chinese pork belly and very British crispy roast pork belly.

You can even cook it in a pressure cooker, like my pressed pork belly with cherries.

Here it is roasted in a hot oven with some seasoning for just 25-30 minutes. The fat content ensures that it stays really succulent inside they crispy and almost chewy exterior.

Portrait overhead image of roast pork belly slices served on a Hungarian lecso served in a white bowl

The Pork.

Pork belly has 3 distinct layers, the skin, a thick layer of fat and then alternating layers of fat and meat.

In fact in Korea pork belly, translates as three-layered meat… You are welcome, and yes I have a Korean pork belly recipe!

It is likely that you will need to visit a butcher or supermarket with a meat counter to get this stuff but it is well worth it!

Ask your butcher for slices around 1-1.5 cm thick, they will likely weigh in at 100-125g each. I serve two per person.

Depending on which end of the belly you have you may have a little “gristle” at one end. If you butcher has left this on just cut it off before roasting.

Portrait close up image of pork belly slices served on a Hungarian lecso served in a white bowl

Serving Suggestions.

I would take this served anyway I could get it.

Growing up my Mom would have served roast pork belly slices with mashed potatoes, peas and gravy. None of this fancy gravy stuff either, it would have been cheap knock off Bisto!

The I have served it in these pictures with my rather foxy Hungarian Lecso.

A pepper and tomato stew that is powered by salami and bacon, yes that is as good as it sounds!

You can go lighter, it would be wonderful with my puy lentils with fennel recipe or my braised cavolo nero recipe.

They would also be stunning alongside my roasted pear with blue cheese.

Another lighter option sticking with the pear theme would be this pear salad with a walnut dressing.

Square image of roast pork belly slices served on a Hungarian lecso served in a white bowl
Yield: 2 Servings

Roast Pork Belly Slices or Strips Recipe

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Simply roast pork belly slices or belly draft as we knew it would and been a wonderful frugal treat, I still adore it today!


  • 4 x 100g (3.5 oz) Slices of Pork
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds


  1. Dry the pork well on kitchen paper.
  2. Season generously on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Lightly crush the fennel seeds and again, season both sides of the pork.
  4. Place on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 200°C or 400°F for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Check halfway through cooking and drain some of the fat if there is too much.
  6. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 1278mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 53g

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!


Tuesday 6th of July 2021

In looking for information regarding what vegetables were usually served with belly draft decades ago, I came across this site and some very interesting comments. I’d love to know if someone can clarify further for me, please. I lived in Wolverhampton as a child. Belly draft was regularly on the menu. I know we had it with swede and potatoes, but I don’t remember if they were served separately or mashed together. I also don’t remember if we had any other vegetables or gravy with it. Very interested to know what would have been most commonly served with it. Also, I think ours was always fried. Does that sound right? As with others who’ve commented, I’ve never heard bell draft referred to by that name since childhood. Here in Australia, they are called pork rashers.

Michelle Paskin

Monday 29th of November 2021

@Jan, yes I lived in West Bromwich and we had it often as a cooked meal. And the mash and the swede were mashed together and we had it with cabbage and tinned processed peas and gravy . Absolutely loved it and I cooking it tonight . Michelle Enjoy xxxx And my mom cooked it in the oven

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Hey Jan...

I was born in the mid-early 70's and was raised in south Birmingham. My Mom and my Nan always served it with mash, peas, and cheap knock-off bisto gravy, sometimes it was swede and tattie mash but that was far less common.

When I was young I used to insist on tomato sauce, much to the horror of my Grandad lol!

Ours was also usually cooked in a frying pan too, typically it was cooked in a large spoon of lard from the chip pan rather than oil or butter too :D

Looking forward to hearing responses from others :)


Sunday 12th of July 2020

'Pork Strips' in my neck of the woods; London/ Herts border. Probably be my choice for a final meal. Served with mash, veg and fatty gravy. A rare treat these days!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

I remember moving to Surrey when I was in my late teens to go to Uni and asked for "belly draft" at the local butchers knowing it was cheap and easy to cook and they looked at me like I was mental! I'm with you on the last meal;l thing though, some form of pork belly would have to be there although I would need to get some mackerel in somehow, are we allowed starters? lol!

Paul Edwards

Monday 15th of June 2020

Splitting the Pork story asunder & adding yet more confusion we ate Pork Rashers in Southampton 🐷. Mums recipe was a roast. The rashers smeared with moistened sage & onion stuffing powder which crisped & soaked up pork juices. Peas for sure but roasters & apple sauce if dad was home.

Robert Groves

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

@Brian Jones, when we were kids,bellydraft was a regular for us.we always had it with swede and mashed potatoes,peas and carrots,covered in gravy.i am having it for my dinner tonight,but even here in wolverhampton no one calls it bellydraft any more.

Jane parker

Monday 26th of April 2021

@Brian Jones, It’s not brummie it’s Black Country that uses the draft word. Never mix up your brummie with a yam yam. You would be linched in Dudley for that. I only knew it as draft couldn’t work out why it was being called belly, thanks for telling me💕

paul edwards

Monday 15th of June 2020

@Brian Jones, Moo Sam Chan in Thai = Port 3 layers.

Brian Jones

Monday 15th of June 2020

Pork rashers, now that name makes perfect sense... I have genuinely no idea where the Brummie name of belly draft comes from, there are lots of ideas online but very little that is really firm. I love the idea of playing around with some "paxo" as a coating for stuff, I have a sage and onion chicken pasta recipe that does something very similar with a homemade sage and onion breadcrumb "thing" that I adore eating.

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