Why is it that every time pork belly is offered on the menu at a restaurant (which is exceedingly often), we gravitate towards it like a farm animal to feed? Surely a succulent piece of belly made from a pork belly recipe at home would be infinitely more satisfying than forking out $30 or more in some fancy setting where you can't even pick up the roast pork belly crackling with your fingers, though we all know you so desperately want to?

Don't fall into the trap of thinking it's too much effort. With effort you will be able to achieve the delicate softness of the pork belly on one side with the crunchy texture of the crispy skin on the other. Pork belly recipes are an excellent (and relatively cheap) way to impress your family or friends.

When we cook what we love, we often cook it well, but handy tips are also useful. When cooking a pork belly recipe with the skin attached, simply finish in a pan or under the grill after braising to render excess fat. Also, make sure you season the skin with plenty of salt and leave it in a cool place to soak up excess moisture to ensure you get that crispy crackling happening. When roasting, you can tell your pork belly recipe is done when slightly pink — just remember to let it rest before carving and serving to make it extra juicy and tender.

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