Cured, bay leaf and hickory smoked pork belly, new potatoes and beets

I started thinking of today’s dinner two days in advance when I bought pork belly for curing. My neighbour gave me a whole bunch of bay leaves so I did a bay leaf and chipotle chilli cure and I mixed some bay leaves with the hickory wood for the smoking.

The pork belly cured for 36 hours. All the excess liquid came out of it and it was firmer to touch. I cooked it with lots of allotment vegetables, the rain and the hot weather lately has done wonders to all vegetables. We picked a marrow, impressive in size, baby carrots, potatoes and baby beet roots.

Cured, bay leaf and hickory smoked pork belly and allotment vegetables

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes

Serves 2


  • 1/2 pork belly 
  • bay leaves
  • 4 new potatoes
  • carrots
  • fresh beet roots
  • marrow
  • 2 tbsp carrot juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • a dash of grated ginger
  • a knob of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  • 2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • ginger

Start with the fire as it will need to reach cooking temperature. Soak the wood, I used hickory wood and mixed it with bay leaves for extra flavour. I am not sure if it gave more flavour but it was delicious. I put this in a smoker unit and placed on top of the fire.


Whilst the fire was getting ready I cleaned the beet roots and the potatoes that were also halved. I placed them on separate sheets of tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. I then closed the tin foil and placed on the grill. I rinsed and patted dry the meat and placed on the grill as well, closed the hood and let it smoke.

Meanwhile I made the sauce from the creme fraiche and yoghurt and flavoured it with garlic and ginger and set aside until we were ready to eat.


Peel the marrow with a knife and trim the carrots. Steam the marrow for 15-20 minutes. When the vegetables are almost done take the meat out and let it rest. place the carrot and the orange juice along with just a hint of grated ginger and a knob of butter in a pan. Add the carrots and bring to boil. Let it boil for about 2 minutes and then turn the heat off and let stand for another 5 minutes.

Carrots 28July_Carrots

Cured, smoked pork belly 28July_PorkBelly

The beet roots were cooked thought and the potatoes had a wonderful crust, sort of like a low fat, slightly smoky version of roast potatoes.

Beet roots 28July_Beets


The meat had lots of flavour, the sweet and salty with a hint of heat from the cure and the smoky flavour. The potatoes were so delicious and it was a perfect evening for eating outside, enjoying the warm summer evening.


I love the summer and sitting out on summer evenings. In celebration of the warm weather we could not resist opening a bottle of prosecco that was perfect with the food and the warm weather.

I have entered this in to Javelin Warrior Cooking w/Luv  always challenging Made with Love Mondays – all about cooking from scratch


6 Responses to “Cured, bay leaf and hickory smoked pork belly, new potatoes and beets”
  1. I love the use of smoke for the potatoes and beets! It sounds fantastic… And I’m sure the cured pork belly was delicious. I’m so impressed with how much it “shrank”. As always, an amazing spread of tasty food!

  2. ediblethings says:

    I got a smoker for my birthday, This may be just the thing to christen it. Especially that pork. Thanks for sharing

  3. Francesca says:

    everything on that plate looks amazing. wish i knew where to find porkbelly in amsterdam!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Francesca
      what a shame you can’t find it, are there any butchers that you can order it from? Pork cheeks are delicious as well if you can find them!
      Can you get lambs breast or belly (same thing), it might work as well for this!

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