Heavenly delicious! That’s the taste of vepřové výpečky (roasted pork belly), in a style that only Czechs can make.
Výpečky are served with dumplings and either Sauerkraut or sautéed spinach, and they taste the best with ice-cold Czech beer.
What Is Vepřové Výpečky?
Vepřové výpečky is one of several classical Czech foods. It’s marbled pork belly, cut into pieces, slowly roasted in the oven together with garlic and onion.
The best meat for this recipe is definitely boneless pork belly with nice marbling. It produces enough juice to make a thin gravy which you drizzle over the top of the dumplings before serving.
Don’t try to make them from lean pork, the recipe wouldn’t work and the meat would be anywhere from dried out to burnt, and definitely not juicy.
Look at the piece of pork above that I used to make the výpečky.
The package was labeled „Vepřový bok bez kosti“ – boneless pork side in translation. You can see the part where the ribs were cut off on the left.
There was a thick layer of of fat on the meat originally. I cut it off and set it aside, I’ll use it to prepare cracklings later.
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Výpečky?
Vepřové výpečky is a very easy recipe, you need just a few ingredients and some time to roast it in the oven. The recipe needs these ingredients:
- Pork belly (containing approx. 50% of lean meat, see the photo above)
- Freshly ground pepper (or crushed caraway seeds)
You can season the meat either with grounded pepper or with crushed caraway seeds, or both.
I like to use pepper, and my mom for example swears by the crushed caraway seeds.
Caraway seeds are one of Europe’s oldest seasonings, Czechs often use it with pork. It is also commonly used when baking bread and other salty pastry.
Furthermore, caraway seed is a favorite seasoning to prepare potatoes, cabbage, geese, ducks and other meals in Czech cuisine.
How to Make Czech Výpečky?
Prepare a roasting pan with a lid (you can also cover the pan with an aluminum foil), a sharp knife and a cutting board. Let’s cook!
- Dice the pork.
- Flavor with salt and pepper.
- Peel the onion and chop it up roughly.
- Slice the garlic.
- Put the ingredients into the pan, mix them and cook for 2,5 hours.
- Turn up the temperature in the oven, remove the lid and roast for a further 30 minutes, until the pork surface turns a golden brown.
What to Serve With Vepřové Výpečky?
Dumplings are the best side dish for výpečky. Both potato and bread dumplings are awesome. It is also eaten with either Sauerkraut or sautéed spinach.
Tip: Learn how to make Czech bread dumplings (houskové knedlíky) from scratch!
If you serve výpečky with bread dumplings and Sauerkraut, the meal resembles another of Czech classics – knedlo, vepřo, zelo.
However, the knedlo vepřo zelo recipe uses a different kind of pork, (pork collar – vepřová krkovice) and the roasting and gravy making processes are slightly different.
Vepřové výpečky are very calorie rich, and although they taste amazing, they’re not exactly a meal to eat when you’re on a diet.
That’s why ice-cold beer is usually served with them, which neutralizes the fat at least a little.
Vepřové Výpečky – Czech Style Roasted Pork Belly
- 2 lbs (1 kg) pork belly half lean, half fat
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- pepper freshly ground
- Dice the pork into pieces about 2,5 inches in size.
- Peel the onion and chop it up roughly.
- Peel and slice the garlic.
- Flavor all sides of the meat with salt and pepper equally, place it into the pan together with the garlic and the onion and mix well.
- Cover the pan either with a lid or aluminum foil.
- Preheat the oven to 250 °F (120 °C) – roast slowly, but for a long time!
- Roast the pork belly pieces for two and a half hours. There’sno need to stir it while in the oven.
- Take the pan out of the oven, remove the lid (aluminum foil), and stir the meat and the veg gently.
- Return it to the oven, this time without the lid. Turn the temperature up to 390 °F (200 °C) and roast for a further 30-40 minutes, until all of the fluid evaporates and only the fat remains. This way, the výpečky will be a nicely golden brown in color and its crust will be crumbly.
- You have to mix the meat at least three times in this phase, mostly at the end so that the výpečky won’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.