HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Butcher for skin on pork belly?

Hello and thanks in advance

I am making a Porchetta roast in the near future and found this amazing recipe for a pork shoulder wrapped in a pork belly. It is supposed to yield the crispiest cracklings ever and I am dying to try it. The recipe calls for a 4 to 5 pound piece of pork belly with skin. Any recommendations for a source?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. well, depends where you live? i have no trouble buying it at local asian markets, but my area has lots of those. i can usually get it at my local "regular" grocer too.

    do you have good butchers in your area? if so, then yeah, ask there.

    many "butchers" don't do much actual butchering anymore.

    1. I made porchetta for Christmas and despite asking whether the belly had skin on when we came to prepare it there was no skin. So don't buy it from Wholefoods! When I went back after Christmas and asked a different person thy said that their pork belly arrives in store with the skin off.

      I finally got some from a proper old school butcher this weekend. I had no idea pork belly with the skin would be so hard to source!

      1. feh, don't know how i missed this was on my local board? lol.

        whole foods does very little actual butchering.

        i'd make a request at mf dulock and/or sulmona.

        1. Whole Foods has it often.

          1. i've definitely gotten skin on pork belly at whole foods before though i'm sure it's more expensive than at an asian market.

            1. MF Dulock is a full service butcher on Somerville Ave. Very high quality, all local and sustainable, etc. Quite expensive but worth it. They break down whole pigs and can get you whatever you are looking for.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Madrid

                I'll second Dulock. If it's not in the case they usually have a pork belly in the back.

                1. re: jjbourgeois

                  I buy it as a POS add-on every time I go to Dulock. :) The skin is indeed on, and it is beautiful!

                  1. re: Small Plates

                    as is the taste. I'm from the south originally and I am so amazed by the taste of this pork.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      Yes indeed - I meant beautiful product/taste. Addicting it is so good! :)

              2. I've gotten it from one of the butcher shops in haymarket (Puritan Beef, I think?)

                5 Replies
                1. re: nsenada

                  I have gotten belly at Puritan as well to make porchetta, but it was rotten (i.e. very stinky and sticky), so went to Whole foods that same night (after calling and asking for them to put it aside for me), when I got there the nice man beamed at me and said he had already taken the skin off for me! I was like, dude, I'm practically buying it FOR the skin! Fortunately, they still had some, more expensive than Puritan, but nice and fresh and locally sourced.

                  1. re: devilham

                    Gross - I do remember seeing some that looked a bit aged, but grabbed one that appeared fresh. Definitely not artisanal or local.

                    1. re: nsenada

                      Yeah, i've told that story on this board before and someone advised me (wisely I suspect) to ask for the to cut you a fresh one from out back, as the ones in the case can be a little off.....me, I'd rather pay a few more cents per pound and go Whole Foods for it, and not have to worry about the quality. Whole Foods' butcher shop is allright, the rest of the store is pretty useless.

                      1. re: devilham

                        The cheese at WF is pretty respectable as well.

                        1. re: phatchris

                          Yeah, i guess I mean the stuff in the aisles.....meat, cheese and produce are ok

                2. J Pace & Sons carries it frozen, IIRC.

                  1. Reliable market as well. Takes some convincing that you want the WHOLE belly, but when they finally believe you, what they pull out of the back always has the skin-on.

                    1. Any of the butchers in Chinatown. They sell pork belly with skin on (plus ribs!).

                      1. if you're in Metrowest I've gotten it at John Dewar's in Wellesley Square. A little pricey but better than going into Boston and paying for parking

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: mfb237

                          I am heartbroken to report that John Dewar's is closed. :(

                            1. re: lc02139

                              This is the most awesome thing I have heard in ages. Wonder if they are breaking down the primals on site or packaging somewhere else?

                              Half a mile from Owens poultry farm too.


                              1. re: hyde

                                Breaking down primals seems highly unlikely given that the website states: "Volante’s will be carrying all of your favorite Dewar cuts in pre-portioned airtight packages, right in our meat case, so all you have to do is swing by the meat aisle, grab, and go."

                                Given that on my one visit to Dewar it seemed that they were pretty much a retail outlet for Kinneally (essentially a "conventional" commodity meat purveyor from Brockton) slicing steaks off of sub-primals from cryovac packages, I would expect much the same, but precut and cryovacced at Kinneally.

                                1. re: celeriac

                                  I figured but one can hope.

                                  Dewars as a retail outlet for Kinneally makes my chest hurt, as more than one time, in the old Newton store, the guys would take me in back and walk me through their cut for specific things I had asked for.

                                  I guess that was a long time ago.

                                  But the possibility of high choice or better in Needham, 10 minutes from Owens poultry, makes me happy.

                                  1. re: hyde

                                    I think my Dewar's experience was similar, and also a long time ago. I remember a dry aged roast that was amazingly good.

                              2. re: lc02139

                                Pinch me...first liquor stores, now Dewar's meat? Oh, hell yeah, Needham. Volante also has a great bakery - best whoopie pies I've had in a long time.

                                1. re: lc02139

                                  A story about Volante farms working with John Dewar's meat.


                                  1. re: lc02139

                                    Just announced on Volante's Facebook page, they will have one of the Dewar butchers on staff, and will be getting whole, local animals in.

                              3. I think I saw that same recipe posted by someone on Facebook. It looks amazing but quite daunting--I will be interested to know how it turns out, and if you think the ratio of labor to flavor made it worthwhile!

                                I bought pork belly from Dulock's a few months ago and the quality was fabulous.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: calisson

                                  could you post a link to the recipe? not on fb, though as i don't belong.


                                2. Waverly Market in Framingham. David will set you up with a nice butterflyed pork shoulder, with skin on. Great guy and very high quality meats