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Pork Belly with French Lavender Salt and Rose Alioli

Pork Belly with French Lavender Salt and Rose Alioli

This succulent and fragrant pork is deliciously rich and is best served in small slices.
By Alexia Kannas

A couple of weeks ago, my Mother and I visited a gorgeous store in Carlton, Melbourne called Gewürzhaus and had the time of our lives. Apparently, “Gewürzhaus” is the German word for ‘spice house’, but this place is more like a ‘crack house’ – if you’re into spices, I mean. Imagine one of those candy stores they have at the cinema, where you get to scoop what you want out of a hundred little bins full of gleaming, shiny treats. Gewürzhaus is kinda like that, only the bins are filled with spices, salts and sugars from all over the world, as well as housemade blends developed by sister-owners Eva and Maria. You can stick your nose into a bin of Duck Duck Goose and be transported to duck heaven, or find yourself back in your grandmother’s kitchen sniffing their Apple Cake Spice. You can scoop as much as you like, of what you like, into pretty printed paper bags with tasting notes, suggestions and recipes. It’s a wonka fantasy for adults, or spice-lovers of any age.

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Basically, I didn’t know what to do with myself, being presented with such choice. We were in the store for so long that someone thought I worked there. In the end I decided I’d buy a few different salts and salt blends to try, as a start. One of these was French Lavender Salt, which I quickly decided I wanted to use with a tender and succulent cut of slow-cooked pork. As it turns out, I’d made the right decision. This blend is a perfectly balanced salt that contains everything that is good with pork: crystalline flaked salt, coriander, aniseed, fennel, chilli, garlic, ginger, pepper and of course, dried lavender flowers. I rubbed this superbly fragrant mixture into a pice of pork belly that had been scored and dried, before roasted it (alone, and then with milk) for long enough to achieve that deeply succulent, falling-apart meat under a wonderfully crisp-crackle caramel top. The lavender adds more of a je ne sais quoi in this instance, rather than a strong floral note, so, being obsessed with flowers in food, I decided to serve this with a rose alioli; a rich, sweet and garlicky condiment that is much more versatile than it may sound. Alongside a dry French rosé and some tender-crisp green beans and roasted peppers, this was one of my favourite meals of the summer. I’ll gladly make it in winter, too.

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Pork Belly with French Lavender Salt and Rose Alioli

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  • Author: Alexia Kannas (adapted from Elizabeth David and Frank Camorra)
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


You could use whatever salt or salt blends you like here and you could get your butcher to score the pork belly to save you time. This succulent and fragrant pork is deliciously rich and is best served in small slices. The rose alioli would also work well alongside barbecued pork or game birds like quail.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) fresh pork belly, without bones
  • 2 tablespoons Gewürzhaus’ French Lavender Salt (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large clove of garlic (or more, to taste)
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 75 ml (2.5 fl oz) grapeseed oil
  • 75 ml (2.5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose jam (or more to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 230C/440F.
  2. Score the pork belly with a very sharp knife (or stanley knife). Alternatively, get your butcher to do this when you buy the meat. Rub salt mixture over pork.
  3. Choose a roasting pan that will fit the pork without too much room to spare. This will cut down on the amount of milk you need to use. Pour the olive oil into the bottom of the pan and brush to cover. Add sage leaves and pork, so that the leaves sit beneath the meat. Roast in the very hot over for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the skin begins to bubble and crisp up. Check regularly to prevent burning.
  4. Carefully pour the milk into the roasting tray, around the pork. Stop before the milk touches the skin/crackling. Turn the oven temperature down to 170C/330F and roast until meat is succulent and tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Check the milk level every so often and replenish as necessary.
  5. Meanwhile, for the rose alioli, chop garlic roughly on a sturdy chopping board, sprinkle with sea salt and use your knife to crush these to a smooth paste. Scape the paste into a medium-sized bowl. Add the egg yolk and the mustard and mix until just combined with a whisk.
  6. Combine the grapeseed and olive oils in a small jug. Add the oil, drop by drop (literally!), whisking after each addition to incorporate. After a little while, the texture should change and become thick and creamy, meaning the mixture has emulsified. Continuing adding the oil in a very thin stream, whisking all the time, until you end up with a thick cream.
  7. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Finally, whisk in the rose jam until combined. Set aside.
  8. Remove pork from oven, tent with foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, turn meat flesh-side up and use a sharp knife to cut slices. Serve with rose alioli.


Gewürzhaus spices are available online. Alternatively, use your own favourite salt and spice blend, or reduce the salt to 1 tablespoon and roast as is.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
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