Serves: 8 piglets
As Rick Stein puts it, ‘to write a recipe for something as everyday as roasting a joint of pork might seem the ultimate in teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but, while on the subject of eggs, I never thought it was arrogant of Delia Smith to go back over how to cook them properly.’
I cook a great pork roast and am often asked how I get the crackling – the ultimate reason you cook a pork roast – so good. Good crackling is crisp, aromatic crackling of a delicacy and crisp airiness that words can’t describe.
Which means the enemy of this is moisture.
So – and I refer to this advice from Rick Stein in his book Food Heroes: another helping, a gift from my fine flatmate of many years back, Aaron – the steps which I have adapted are:
- Try and find a joint of pork with as thick a layer of fat between the skin and the flesh as possible. The fat slows the moisture from the flesh getting to the crackling.
- Try and avoid pork that has been shrink wrapped.
- Pat dry the skins with paper towel and then let sit on a wire rack for at least 6 hours; Rick says 24 and no less. Pat dry again.
- Score the skin though don’t go too deep and cut the flesh.
- Pat dry one more time.
1.75kg bones and rolled spare rib of pork (shoulder, not the belly)
Sea salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the oven to 250c or higher.
- Combine seasoning and a tablespoon of olive oil and rub all over the skin and flesh.
- Put in the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Lower the oven to 180c and continue to roast for 30 minutes per 450gm; a 1.75kg roast will take a further two hours.
- Make your gravy, potatoes, whatever.
- Remove the pork from the oven. A meat thermometer should read 75c in the centre of the pork. Let sit for 10 minutes and this should rise to 80c.
- To carve, cut and remove the string, slide a knife under the crackling, lift it off and break into pieces. Resist eating.
- Slice the pork removing the layer of fat and sit back and take those compliments. Hand out the crackling like a drug dealer.