Jerk Pork Belly and One of Those Days

In my mind I had planned a lovely day.  An early morning swim squad, take Alfie to school, do a quick job, relax at the hairdressers, enjoy lunch with a friend, be home in time to welcome the plumber who would replace a dodgy bathroom taps, collect Alfie from school and take him to the library for a talk by Andy Griffiths, author of so many entertaining and fabulous books for children.

Not a problem.

Jerk Pork Belly

I didn’t think that was overly ambitious.  I started the day at 5.30am and read a few of my favourite blogs then went and did the swim squad where I thought I could not only exercise but de-stress.  De-stress?  I was so stressed.  The coach had written up a ridiculous 60-minute set that had us constantly behind the clock and as a consequence I had to sprint for the entire hour and when I climbed out of the pool I was puce and couldn’t lift my arms above my shoulders.

I limped home and took Alfie to school, then did the job for the company I work for and on time, I left the house to head to the hairdressers.  I stepped into my car to find it littered with McDonalds wrappers and empty cans of Red Bull and when I started the engine found there was not a whiff of petrol.  Teenagers!

I drove to the nearest petrol station and opened my hand bag for my wallet only to find it wasn’t there.  Then I remembered.  Arabella had an appointment with the osteopath and she had asked me for my health insurance card.  Like a fool I said, ‘It’s in my wallet’, so she had removed my wallet from my handbag and not put it back.  Teenagers!

I had to turn around and head back home, hunt for my wallet then set out on my journey again.  For some reason known to no one I see a hairdresser who lives nearly an hour from where I live.  Now I would be at least a half hour late.  I phoned him from the petrol station and he wasn’t very pleased as instead of his clients arriving in an orderly and timely fashion we instead would be walking in all at the same time.  And he’s a solo operator.

From the car I phoned my friend to confirm our lunch and she said, ‘Oh Charlie, I’m so sorry, I have to cancel.  We got back from our holiday last night and found out my uncle died while we were away and the funeral’s today.  We’ll have to make lunch another time’.

‘I understand’, I said.

And so I beetled on towards the hairdresser and walked in to find someone with really, really thick hair was in the chair having it coloured, slowly, and as I was late, I’d have to wait until the process was finished.  I waited and waited and waited while the minutes ticked by and his magazine selection left me disappointed.  I checked my watch and it was a good thing the lunch was cancelled because I never would have made it.

Then the weather changed and what had been a beautiful sunny and warm day of 25C became a windy, wet day of 14C and I was wearing a t-shirt, had no umbrella and was freezing.  I shouldn’t have bothered with the blow dry because by the time I went from the hairdressers to my car my new hairdo had been destroyed.

Crispy pork belly

I realised I would be late for the plumber so I phoned and left a message to cancel and reschedule.  Then I phoned Carl and asked him if he could pick up Alfie from school because I wouldn’t be back in time to collect him.  I phoned the library and asked if I could collect the tickets to the Andy Griffiths talk when we arrived at 4.30pm and was told as I hadn’t collected them earlier that day they’d reallocated them to someone else and without a ticket we wouldn’t have entry and it was now sold out.  Reeling from that disappointment my phone then rang and it was the plumber saying he was at my house and why wasn’t I there to let him in.  ‘Didn’t you get my message?’ I asked.

‘What message?’

‘I left a message saying I was running late and could we reschedule.’

‘I didn’t get it.  I’m here now.  Can anyone let me in?’

‘No one’s home and I’m half an hour away.’

And sometimes you wonder how on earth your day could just unravel like that and other times you just block it out and reach for a wine.  And that’s what I’m doing as I cook this Jamie Oliver recipe.

Jerk Pork Belly

Jerk Pork Belly

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Pork belly is one of the cheaper cuts of meat and I think it’s one of the best.

  • 5 spring onions, roughly sliced
  • 15 whole allspice berries
  • 2cm ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli (I used birds eye)
  • 3 tbs white wine vinegar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1/2 bunch of thyme
  • 1-2 tbs sunflower oil
  • 750g pork belly, skin scored

Blitz all ingredients except oil and pork in a blender with 1 1/2 tsp each salt and ground black pepper.  Slowly add oil pulsing until you get a thick marinade.

Put pork in a snug, non-reactive dish with marinade and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 200C.  Replace plastic wrap with foil and cook pork in the oven for 75 mins or until cooked and juicy.

Preheat BBQ or chargrill pan until hot.  Cook pork for 10-20 mins, turning often to get a smoky flavour through the meat, until skin is crisp and is charring in places.  Serve with rice and coleslaw.

I found this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Delicious Magazine.

Want to keep in touch?  See you on Facebook!



Related Post


  1. Enjoy the wine, after a day like that you really deserve it.

  2. Compared to your day, mine was perfection. 🙂 Did early work, did some shopping, had lunch with friends at the yacht club, did a bit more work, some housecleaning and dinner. Tomorrow will probably to to hell in a handbasket.

    I LOVE pork belly done this way!

  3. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    “And so I beetled on towards the hairdresser.” In all the craziness of your story, I just love that line. I’ve never heard the verb “beetled,” but it so works and it’s simply brilliant writing. There. Does that make your awful day a tad better?

  4. Perfect reasons to drink wine … and more wine. 🙂

  5. Aw, I’m sorry you had such a bad day! Isn’t it always the case that when it’s a bad day, it’s a REALLY bad day?! Like there’s no “kinda” bad day. Tomorrow will be better! At least you had a tasty dinner 🙂

  6. Ohhh poor you Charile 🙁 you’ve had a really rough day… I’ve had those days…and by the end of the day…I don’t want to do anything and just want to lie down and curl up in bed! You’ve done a good job with everything ~ take a night or day off! You deserve it!

  7. It is a desperately sad thing when the weather destroys new hair. I’ve almost cried when it’s been the one time a year I’ve had my hair straightened after a trim, and it starts raining outside. DARN YOU FRIZZ!

    I ate jerk peanuts yesterday. Magical.

  8. Oh Charlie! What a horrible, horrible day. I hope this is all the bad things out of the way for at least the next month!

  9. Sorry for the miserable day … one disaster after another. Big hugs and enjoy that pulled pork.

  10. Jennifer Cullen says:

    At the end of a day like that, there really is no other option than to pour yourself a glass of wine. Hopefully it got better after that!

  11. Oh, heavens … I just love reading your stories but I hate that you had such a rough day … I can’t believe Arabella took your whole wallet 🙂

  12. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Some days are like that, aren’t they? But your pork looks like a good end to the day anyway.

  13. The Squishy Monster says:

    oh no 🙁 I do hope (and know) things will get better…on the other hand, that pork belly looks outta this world! No one can ever say you can’t get your cook on!

  14. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Poor you. What a day! But the “teenagers” made me laugh as they are right on target for what they are supposed to do! I adore jerk flavors and this pork belly looks amazingly delicious. Thanks for posting! Nice ending for the day.

  15. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    Gotta love days like that! Ugh!! What a delicious looking meal, though 🙂

  16. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Oh Charlie, you poor dear! I do hope that once your kids leave home they give you sufficient time to recoup before bring grandchildren around for you to look after.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Oh definitely Mandy. I’m certainly going to need a few years off before grandchildren. I’m concerned it won’t happen though – I’ve still got the little guy to get through his teenage years and they don’t start for another six years!

  17. yummychunklet says:

    Aw, I despise those kinds of days. Though, the one bright side is that your friend cancelled lunch before you had to!

  18. Glamorous Glutton says:

    It sounded like a ver ambitious day to start with. Im not surprised it unravelled. Why do we believe we can do so much? GG

  19. Charlie, this is a fabulous recipe – I’ve got belly pork in the freezer, and I’m going to try it. I’m sorry the rest of the day went to hell, darling.. xx

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’m so glad you’re going to give this a try. I’d love to see how it turns out. I should have pointed out IN BOLD PRINT that the recipe needs to be started a day ahead as you’re supposed to marinate the pork over night. That didn’t happen here, we did the ‘express’ method of marinating so we didn’t starve.

  20. Jackie Brown says:

    Got to love days like that lol…hopefully today will be better and have an awesome weekend 🙂

  21. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Yes some days can only be fixed by erasing them from memory with a nice cold drink. I try not to plan too many things in one day because I very very very rarely get them all done then I feel like I’ve done nothing!
    Seems like you ended it on a high note though. The pork looks so tender and delicious!

  22. That sounds like one chaotic day. Blame it on the missing wallet – teenagers were at the bottom of it all.

  23. Oh man…what a day! Looks like you had a incredible meal though! 🙂

  24. Oh dear! I have the very same teenagers at home. These are the reasons I don’t want to get out of bed….but I do and have the very same day *sigh* I am sure your dinner made up for the terrible day. xx

  25. Barb Bamber says:

    I’ve always been curious.. why do some days just seem to go like clock-work and others feel like I’m walking round in circles while nothing gets done? Why can’t every day feel so accomplished.. now I know.. it must be those teenagers!! I’ve got my answer at long last! ps I was picturing myself putting the oil and the pork in the blender.. on one of those “off” days, lol!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’ve no idea. But like clockwork they come around every once in a while. And Barb, I’m sure if you were making this you’d do an excellent job of it and I’m quite sure the pork wouldn’t be blended – we’re not so old we don’t have our teeth!

  26. Oh I’ve been there Charlie. I do hope it was a good glass of wine. 🙂 Some days just seem to go that way. Fortunately, they are not every day!

  27. cityhippyfarmgirl says:

    I find rather a lot is soothed with a glass of wine 😉

  28. Juliet Batten says:

    Try again tomorrow Charlie, and good luck! You must be due for a day when everything goes like clockword.

  29. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says:

    I totally understand the frustration! Some days are just like that I suppose. Nothing this pork belly can’t make better though, I’m getting so hungry looking at your photos!

  30. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Oh Charlie, I’m so stressed after reading all of that, I’ve got to have a lie down for you darling!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I was stressed reading about you turning up to a restaurant in Glebe then having to wait 40 minutes for a table only to be told they’d lost your booking. Trying times!

  31. it’s definitely one of those days… sorry it turned out that way”””” sigh”””. this pork belly is calling my name. we love our pork bellies but your recipe is definitely a new twist on my good old crispy belly Filipino style.

  32. says:

    Sounds like a terrible horrible no good very bad day! At least you got a glass of wine and some good food at the end of it!

  33. Oh dear!!!! What a godawful day!!! Hope tomorrow is better

    But that pork jerky is sooooooo good!

  34. Oh my goodness but that’s an exhausting day! I am impressed to read how many things were on that list to begin with. You make me feel like a slacker, Charlie! 🙂 Bless your heart! You try so hard…and yes, those teenagers can sure derail your best intentions. It’s a good thing they are so smart and charming! And you’d better be telling them that “way down the road” they had better be prepared to treat you like a Queen when you’re ready to retire from all this activity! 🙂

  35. Oh dear Charlie, what a day you had. But I hope and wish weekend to be nice for you dear. Thanks and Love, nia

  36. Dear Charlie,

    What a dreadful day of misadventures. But then again, I think this delicious pork belly is even better than that glass of wine. Unlike Australia, I think in certain parts of Asia pork belly, being so delicious with so many different recipes, is actually more expensive than prime cuts.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’m waiting for them to increase the price here. As soon as something becomes trendy or popular, up goes the price. Just look at what’s happened to lamb shanks!

  37. Gourmet Getaways says:

    Pork Belly and wine is a win!! It might have been a horrible day but it certainly ended well 🙂 Love the look of that pork!

  38. Good end to a messy day! It is amazing how quickly it all unravels some days 🙂

  39. What a crappy day sweetie, you poor thing! I’m glad at least dinner was something that was worth looking forward too- and obviously delicious! I hope you had a TALL glass of wine with that dinner too, you deserved it 🙂

  40. I never thought to use jerk seasoning in pork dishes. Thanks for the awesome tip, Charlie!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks Libby. It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe. I hadn’t used jerk seasoning on pork belly before either. It does give the pork amazing flavour.

  41. This looks so good:) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Speak Your Mind