Assado, which means roast, is a cooking technique from Goa and Portugal. You can assado anything, but the marination varies according to the meat.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time

    2h 30m

    Plus 6.5 hours to marinate


  • 1 kg pork belly, boneless and without skin
  • 1 lt chicken stock or water
  • 60 ml dark rum or coconut palm feni
  • 60 ml toddy vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups thickly-sliced onions
  • 10 dry red Kashmiri chillies, medium-sized
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 6 cloves
  • 2-inch ginger, peeled
  • ½-inch cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a medium blender jar, grind the cumin, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic and brown sugar with the feni and toddy vinegar to a fine paste. It should become a yellowish marinade. Reserve in a cool place.
  2. Salt the pork belly generously and keep in a cool place for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, break each Kashmiri chilli into a couple of pieces.
  4. Now cover the pork with the marinade and refrigerator for 6 hours.
  5. Preheat your oven to 160°C. Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature if you are unsure.
  6. In a medium roasting tray, lay the sliced onions and Kashmiri chillies at the bottom to form a trivet for the meat.
  7. Place the marinated pork belly, fat side up, on the sliced onions and chillies.
  8. Pour room-temperature water or chicken stock into the roasting tray, ensuring it comes up halfway to the sides of the meat.
  9. Roast for 60-90 minutes, making sure you baste the pork belly every 20 minutes.
  10. Once finished, the fat on the pork belly should be crusty, not crispy, and the meat should be fork-tender and juicy.
  11. Let meat rest in the pan for 30 minutes.
  12. Transfer the meat to another tray, and pour the onions and residual roasting juices into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  13. On medium flame, reduce this sauce and season with salt, if necessary. It should be tangy, slightly sweet and unctuous.
  14. Slice the pork with a sharp knife and serve with roasted potato, warm bread and assado sauce.
Hussain Shahzad

Hussain Shahzad

Hussain Shahzad, the Executive Chef at O Pedro, a Goa-inspired restaurant in Mumbai, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for October. He started his career with the Oberoi Group of Hotels in Mumbai, before moving to New York, where he worked at the iconic Eleven Madison Park. His culinary adventures have taken him around the world and included a brief stint as a personal chef to Roger Federer. Before taking the reins at O Pedro, he was a part of the team at the award-winning The Bombay Canteen. A dynamic and bold chef, Hussain’s food philosophy is to showcase local produce using contemporary culinary techniques.

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