Does your Crackling Crackle and Pop?

I used to have such problems with Roast Pork, I could never get it right, it would be too dry, tasteless, and the crackling would be really rubbery and not crunchy, so I stopped making it all together.  But since I got together with my husband, when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner one year, he declared that Roast Pork was his favorite, so I knew I had to remedy this situation.

I am lucky enough to have some fantastic foodie friends and managed to get some tips and tricks from them. I have combined them and can now achieve pretty decent results when it comes to roasting pork, thanks to the Worsley/Olivier School of Piggy Goodness!

Here are my tips

Buy a piece of pork with lots of fat on the top, this will aid in the production of crackling and will also help to keep the pork nice and moist.

When you are ready to cook the pork, give the fat a good dry with a paper towel to remove all the moisture.

Score the fat layer fairly deep but not so deep that you cut into the flesh.  Sometimes this has already been done at the store, but if it hasn’t you’ll need to make cuts on diagonals a few cms apart across the top of the fat, don’t stress it doesn’t need to be perfect.  Make sure you use a good sharp knife.

Once it’s scored add some salt

Apply a generous amount of salt to the top of the fat and give it a good rub so it is in all the cracks and covers all the fat.

All rubbed down and ready for the pan

Place in the roasting pan and add enough water so it just covers the bottom of the roasting pan.  This will help keep the meat nice and moist and also helps the cracking to get nice and crispy.

Roast the Pork on 200°c for the first 30 minutes and then turn it down to 170°c for the remainder of the cooking time. This will crisp the crackling up and then allow the meat to cook at a slow rate afterwards to ensure it’s tender and moist afterwards.

this is what the crackling should look like when you are about to turn down the heat. See how it has bubbled across most of the fat layer. You want to avoid the crackling looking leathery, as these bits won’t go crunchy.

You will need to keep an eye on the amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan, for the first part the water will probably dry up so you should add some more, until it gets to a point where the juices are starting to flow from the meat.

Make sure you rest the meat afterwards for at least 20 minutes before eating.  Cover it with foil to keep it warm.

The juices can be used to make a yummy gravy, and of course what Roast Pork would be complete without a great apple sauce?

We were so excited when this Roast Pork was rested and ready to eat that I forgot to take another photo of the finished product, but I must say it was probably the yummiest crackling that I have made.

Good luck!

Happy Roasting.