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Perfect Roast Pork and Crackling

December 2nd, 2014

There are a few steps you might not consider when roasting a joint of pork, but they make all the difference.

  1. First up is washing the meat. This is an unusual step, but with pork it removes a lot of the spare fat and juices that would otherwise spoil the taste of the end result.
  2. Secondly dry it afterwards. You want to use a (clean!) tea towel or paper towels to remove all of the water. Particularly the skin for crackling, that needs to be patted down so that it’s super dry.
  3. The third thing you want to do is score the skin. Many butchers will have done this already, but if not make cuts three quarters the way into the skin, about 1 – 1.5cm apart across the whole piece of skin.
  4. Fourth is to rub olive oil into the skin. Use lots, we’re cooking almost pure fat here, so give up on the idea this is healthy – but it will be extremely delicious!
  5. Now rub in salt. Lots of salt. Preferably freshly ground sea or river salt. Pretend you’re trying to push it through the skin, really work it, the flavour you’ll end up with will be well worth it.

Now for the cooking.

  • Cook for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 220C
  • Turn down to 180C and cook for about 30-45 minutes for each 500g
  • If the crackling starts to brown too much¬†cover with foil, but remove it 10 minutes before serving.
  • Tap the crackling with the back of your cooking knife and you can hear it’s progress.
  • Poke it with a skewer. When it’s fully cooked the juices should run clear.

That’s it! These tips should produce a roast that will satisfy even the fussiest pork eater.

I’d serve the meat in a stack with a sauce made from grainy mustard, cream and finely chopped shallots, sweetened, cooked shredded carrots and a slice of poached apple.¬† Serve the crackling on the side of course, you didn’t go to all the trouble of getting it crunchy to cover it in sauce hey!