Heavenly delicious! That’s the taste of vepřové výpečky (roasted pork belly), in a style that only Czechs can make. Výpečky are served with potato or bread dumplings and either braised sauerkraut or sautéed spinach. 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.
I recorded a short audio clip on how to pronounce the Czech word "vepřové výpečky" (roasted pork belly).
Best Meat to Use
This recipe's best meat 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 fat on the meat originally. I cut it off and set it aside, and I’ll use it to prepare cracklings later.
TIP: Try sekaná, Czech meatloaf made from beef and pork meat.
Vepřové výpečky is a straightforward recipe, and 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 ground 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 season pork with caraway seeds. Caraway 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 Czech cuisine meals.
Tip: Here is another great recipe made with pork belly: Pečený bůček
Prepare a roasting pan with a lid (you can also cover the pan with 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 oven temperature, remove the lid, and roast for a further 30 minutes, until the pork surface turns a golden brown.
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 the Czech classics – vepřo knedlo 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.
More Czech dishes:
- Svíčková – iconic Czech sauce with cream
- Guláš – famous beef goulash with caraway seeds and sweet paprika
- Rajská – sweet tomato sause with beef
Vepřové Výpečky – Czech Style Roasted Pork Belly
- 2 lbs (900 g) pork belly (half lean, half fat)
- 1 onion (large)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- pepper (freshly ground)
- Dice the pork into pieces about 2 and ½ 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’s no 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 nice 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.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart