Couscous Stuffed Pork Belly

Annelien Pienaar – Food Consultant
(Author of: Meat the Ultimate Guide / Vleis die Omvattende Gids, Boerekos with a Twist/ Boerekos met ‘n Twist)


2.5 kg pork belly with skin
100 g Kassler steaks, chopped into 1 cm cubes
½ cup red onion, diced
½ cup cherry peppers (Impala) diced
½ cup celery
1 tsp crushed garlic
½ cup couscous
½ cup boiling hot water
5 tbsp Funky Ouma olive oil
1 tsp Impala Braai Salt
Cotton twine for binding the meat

Rub the entire piece of skin with salt. Rest uncovered with skin side facing upwards overnight in the refrigerator.

Prepare the couscous. Add olive oil, a pinch of salt and hot water to the couscous and stir well. Microwave for 2 minutes and loosen with a fork. Cover and let it cool.

Sauté the onions, garlic, and celery over moderate heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil until the onions are translucent. Adding a pinch of salt to the sauté process will render a sweater taste in the onions. Last add the kassler meat and fry only for 1 minute.

Mix the couscous and onion mixture together, spread open to cool faster.

Cut a pattern to your liking on top of the skin. Turn the meat upside down, for the skin to be touching the cutting board. Add the filling on top of the meat and press the layer firmly down.

Start rolling the meat and end with the open end showing to the side. This will help you to tie the meat easily. There are two methods to tie the knot! You can cut loose pieces of twine and tie them individually or you can as per photo, tie in one go. The fact of the matter is, you need to be able to lift the meat from the work surface into the casserole dish and then transfer it to a serving platter without the filling falling out. So tying the meat is essential.

Place the meat into a casserole pan with lid. And bake at 130C for 3 hours and turn the heat up to 180C for 1 hour and uncover the meat and raise the temperature, if possible, to 250C and roast the meat for 10-20 min until the skin puffs up.

Very important, before cutting meat, let it rest for 20 minutes. This will ensure the meat juices to be entrapped in the meat, rendering a juicy cut and the filling will be in place.

I use a very sharp chef’s knife for cutting the meat into portions. Always ensure your knife is super sharp. (Click here to shop)

Serve with: Fried rice, char grilled veggies and apricot sauce.


250g Montagu dried apricots (available in store)
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp brown sugar or honey
3 tbsp white vinegar of choice

Roughly chop the apricots and cover with 1 cup of boiling hot water for 1 hour.

Add the rest of the ingredients and boil for 5 minutes and puree the mixture. Serve hot.