Turf roasting is not merely fashionable, it is also easily achievable, and gives a unique flavour to a joint.


  • 1 piece of turf (cut into pieces to fill the bottom of a roasting dish)
  • 1 large onion (sliced into rings)
  • 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 bunch fresh sage (chopped)
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 kg pork belly (rind removed)
  • 150 ml dry cider
  • 8 whole cloves
  • pinch ground all-spice
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch cracked black pepper and a pinch rock salt
  • 75 g demerara sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  2. Break up the turf, using a hammer and chisel, or very sharp heavy knife.
  3. Place the turf in a single layer in the base of a roasting tin,
  4. and top with the slices of onion.
  5. Sprinkle with the garlic and half the sage, then pour in the water.
  6. Sit the pork belly on top then splash with the cider.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining sage, spices and seasoning, then cover the whole dish tightly with foil.
  8. Cook in the oven for three hours.
  9. Remove the pork belly from the oven, take away the foil, pour off any liquid, and sprinkle the sugar on top of the pork.
  10. Increase oven to 200ºC and return the pork to the oven, sitting on top of the turf, for 30 minutes or until glazed and golden, and infused with the aroma of the turf.
  11. Remove pork to a warm plate, slice thickly and serve.