RECIPE | Pork Belly Baklava


Filling Ingredients

  • Full side pork belly, skin on and bone out
  • 500g pitted dates
  • 500g pistachio kernels
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • 1 litre white vinegar
  • Salt and cracked pepper to season


Assembly of Pork Belly Ingredients

  • 2 x boxes of thick sheet filo (Antoniou brand is best)
  • Date pistachio mix
  • Pork belly slices
  • 500g butter


Date Mastic Sauce Ingredients

  • 500ml of water
  • 500g of pitted dates
  • 5g mastic powder
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to season


Filling Method

  1. Fill a large stockpot with water, place pork belly in and bring to the boil.
  2. Boil for one hour, remove pork belly and place into a bowl or container with white vinegar and allow to soak for one hour.
  3. Place pork belly skin up on a baking or wire rack into a baking tray.
  4. Criss cross score the skin lightly being careful not to cut too deep into the skin and then rub sea salt crystals all over skin.
  5. Place in the oven at 200 degrees until skin is crisp.
  6. Once crisp set aside in fridge to cool. Preferable as long as possible (minimum 6 hours) – it gives the pork belly enough time to set which makes it easy to portion and rip off the skin/crackling.
  7. Once chilled, using a filleting knife cut around the skin to where it joins the pork and slowly work around the edges working the knife underneath the crackled skin. The skin may peel off in one piece if you work the knife nicely between the layer of crackling and the hardened fat layer.
  8. Once the skin has been separated from the pork meat, slice the pork belly into thin strips about 2cm thick like a strip of pancetta and set aside.
  9. Whilst doing these steps you can prepare the date and pistachio filling.
  10. Rehydrate pitted dates in boiled water until soft.
  11. Strain, pat dry and then blend in processor until smooth.
  12. Separately, crush pistachios – try to get some different textures, some fine and some a little chunkier.
  13. Mix pistachios, date puree and the Dijon mustard together. Season with salt and pepper. (Note: If you want a nuttier date/pistachio mix layer, add more pistachios to your liking.


Assembly of Pork Belly Method

  1. Melt butter.
  2. Open up filo and place flat on dry surface with a very slight moist tea towel to cover.
  3. Butter the baklava tray liberally. Place a sheet of filo on the base of the tray. (Note: It should pretty much fit in the size of the tray. If not, make sure the filo does not come up the edge, but you can overlap the layers, so it covers the base. Make sure anytime you overlap you always butter between the sheets. The buttering is very important in this process.
  4. Repeat this step five times with six layers of filo on the base.
  5. On the next layer place the pork belly strips so it covers the layers of filo. Once again fit in so it’s a level later.
  6. Repeat step 3 – five sheets of filo with liberal buttering between each layer.
  7. Repeat step 5 – another layer of pork belly.
  8. Repeat step 3 – five sheets of filo with liberal buttering between each layer.
  9. Next layer is the date and pistachio mix – spread evenly over filo layer.
  10. Repeat step 3 – five sheets of filo with liberal buttering between each layer.
  11. Repeat step 5 – another layer of pork belly.
  12. Repeat step 3 – five sheets of filo with liberal buttering between each layer.
  13. Repeat step 5 – another layer of pork belly.
  14. Finish off with another layer of filo with 6 sheets like the bottom. Butter the top liberally and then chill.


Date Mastic Sauce Method

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to simmer and simmer for about one hour. Note: Always stir to make sure the dates don’t sink to the bottom and burn.
  2. Using a stick blender or food processor, blend all together until smooth.



  1. When baklava is cool, cut into top later of filo and make a diamond pattern. Cut down through the top layer of filo – this will make the top layer rise, so you can get that flaky finish.
  2. Cut pork crackling into diamond shapes to fit within the pattern.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place in oven.
  4. Remove when top layer is golden brown.
  5. Brush with melted butter when it comes out of the oven.
  6. Serve with warm date mastic sauce.

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