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48 hours to marinade, 8 hours smoking
Barbecook Oskar
Barbecook Smoke chips of your choice
For the bacon:
700g pork belly, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 small chilli pepper, 0.5 teaspoon of black pepper, 0.5 teaspoon of coriander seed, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, 0.5 teaspoon of garlic powder, 0.5 teaspoon of thyme, 0.5 teaspoon of allspice
For the marinated gherkins:
4 large gherkins, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar, pepper, salt
For the garlic sauce:
200ml full-fat yoghurt, pepper salt, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 2 garlic cloves
For the finish:
a few leaves of lettuce, a few sprigs of fresh coriander, 2 large Turkish rolls or a number of different little ones, spicy sauce, 5 tablespoons of pine nuts

Time to get out my new smoker again. This time Oskar will be joined by a couple of sweet pointed peppers and a piece of pork belly. For once not pork belly from my favourite pig farmer, but a piece that I still had stashed in the freezer.

And it has to be said, it was not just any piece of pork belly. The Mangalica, or Hungarian wolf pigs, are impressive animals with a thick coat, dark meat and a serious layer of pork belly. A pig can quickly weigh 200 kilos and then you really know it. Sturdy animals. You do not just simply prepare the pork belly. It demands love, attention and time.

And time and love is what I gave it. Two days to thaw slowly, two nights covered in the fridge with a rub nicely massaged into it, five hours in the Barbecook Oskar smoker and another two hours in the ordinary oven – that can add up, no? “The meat was tender” is an understatement. I served it with the peppers prepared in the smoker, a coriander-mint mayonnaise, garlic sauce, quickly marinated gherkins and pine nuts. All together in a Turkish roll.

In the morning, the resident grandfather-in-law (an emigrant full-blooded Hungarian) put all the cooled fat in a jar. “For the sandwich,” in his words.

Mangalica are no ordinary animals, as mentioned earlier, and that results in a very tasty piece of meat. You are not dealing with a little bit of pork there. Personally, I prefer a pork neck: something that is more real meat than the pure fat of this pork belly. The combination with the cucumber’s acid, grilled peppers and the tasty sauces made it a very successful experiment. Definitely try it.


  1. Cut into the belly bacon. Put all herbs in a mortar and grind into a powder.
  2. Rub the pork belly with the herb mixture. Place in a bowl. Cover completely with foil and leave for 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove from the fridge an hour before you start smoking the meat. This will bring it to the right temperature.
  4. Start up the Oskar with a charcoal starter and heat the smoker to 80 to 120°C. Put the pork belly on the smoker and make sure that the temperature does not exceed 120°C in the next 6 to 8 hours. Fill the bouillon dish regularly with beer, stock, wine or water. While waiting, you can prepare everything else.
  5. Put the pointed peppers in the oven for about two hours. Then cut them into pieces.
  6. Crush the garlic and cut it finely. Mix with the yoghurt, mayonnaise, pepper and salt. Store the sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  7. Make the coriander-mint mayonnaise. 
  8. Cut the gherkins into thin slices.
  9. Marinate in the vinegar with olive oil, pepper and salt.
  10. Roast the pine nuts into a pan without oil.
  11. Finely chop some coriander.
  12. Put the bread rolls on the barbecue shortly before serving.
  13. Cut them open and fill them with pieces of pork belly, some lettuce, peppers and gherkins.
  14. Finish with garlic sauce, green mayonnaise and possibly some spicy sauce.
  15. Garnish with fresh coriander and pine nuts.
  16. Enjoy!

Beer  tip: a sturdy spicy IPA.

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