This recipe for roast pork will create the most perfect crispy crackle. Saw through a cracking crunchy top and slice into steaming juicy fatty sweet pork. All four elements of salt, fat, acid and heat are met in this recipe. We even have a fifth element of sweetness from the apples. The scent of the roasting pork, the crunch of the crackle as you snap it noisily, the contrasting texture of melting soft fat and the golden crispiness means all your senses will be satisfied. Roast pork with perfect crispy crackling is a truly sensory experience. Pour heavenly lightly coloured gravy brewed with pan juices and get some pork on your fork!
The first time you taste pork crackling is a special milestone. Perhaps you cherish a fond childhood memory of the first time you cracked into a mysterious shard of crispy chewy golden salty moreishness. Forever etched in your mind.
A hilarious essay in the early 1800’s by Charles Lamb “Dissertation upon Roast Pig” the writer imagines the primitive man first discovering pork crackling by way of an accidental fire. He says “… in a spirit of philosophical inquiry the man put it into his mouth. No pen can describe the felicity he then enjoyed—it was then that he—the world—first tasted crackling.”
Roast pork has been a celebratory even ritualistic special occasion dish going back millennia across different countries. Especially held in high regard in South East Asian, Western and Spanish culture. And pork rinds or scratchings known in Australia as crackling are a popular rustic snack world wide.
– Make sure to leave time to dry the pork overnight in the fridge. This will be a key component to achieving the perfect crispy crackle.
– I used a roasting pan that measured 39.5 x 27.5 x 7.5cm to ensure there was enough space for all my ingredients and I could make sure the pork was lying flat to ensure the crispy crackle was even.
Serving Tips for your Roast Pork
– This can be served with a simple puree of the vegetables it is cooked with. The flavours will be a heady aromatic combination of rich onion, caramelised garlic, delicate leek and sweet stewed carrots and apples.
– Alternatively a side dish of roast potatoes or another potato dish would go well. Keep an eye on our ’Supportive Sides’ category for complimentary dishes we will be posting more recipes soon.
– If there are any leftovers the pork and the crackling will be delicious served cold inside a fluffy roll with gravy. You could also add lots of chopped fresh salad and chilli making it a Vietnamese banh mi.
How to make roast pork with crispy crackling
Step by step guide
Step 1. Cut all your vegetables for your gravy
Step 2. Pat any excess residue off pork skin with paper towel, then rub in oil & sprinkle even layer of salt
Step 3. Add Apple Cider
Step 4. Bake in oven as per instructions below.
Step 5. Strain vegetables and mash to get out any excess liquid
Step 6. Mix cornstarch with water, then add to pan juices
Step 7. Whisk until smooth
Step 8. Slice pork
Step 9. Serve & pour apple cider gravy over the slices of pork
Check out our Masterful Mains category for more delicious Dinner Recipes.
- Use a roasting pan with rack (39.5 x 27.5 x 7.5cm)
- 2 kg Pork shoulder or leg
- 2 Red apples no need to peel or take seeds out
- 1 bulb Garlic Leave skin on
- 1 Leek Use the white part only
- 1 Carrot No need to peel
- 1 tbsp Dried oregano
- 1 tbsp Fresh thyme
- 375 ml Apple cider
- 1 Cup Pan juices
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Flour Can use cornstarch if preferred
- 2 Cups Chicken stock
Preparing Pork Shoulder or Leg
- Dry overnight in fridge (uncovered)
- Pat pork skin dry
- Rub 1 ½ teaspoon salt and oil on to bottom of pork. Flip it over and rub oil into skin and sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoon salt on top ensuring the surface is evenly covered with salt to get the perfect crispy crackling.
- Cut onion in half leaving the skin on.
- Break garlic into 4-5 parts with skin on.
- Cut white part of leek into 3 parts.
- Cut carrot in half (no need to peel).
- Cut apples in half
How to cook Roast Pork
- Chuck all vegetables into the roasting pan. Place the pork on top of the vegetables make sure it is lying flat.
- Pour one can of 375ml of apple cider into the base of the pan.
- Place in oven at 130 degrees for 2.5 hours.
- Turn oven to 230 degrees and cook for a further 20 min – 30 mins.
- After 20 minutes check every 5 minutes until done.
- Remove pork from roasting pan and brush off any excess salt.
- Skim off fat from tray (approx ½ cup). Reserve the juices for gravy.
- Strain vegetables into a pot.
- Mash up the vegetables.
How to make the gravy
- Mix water & flour together into a slurry in a separate bowl.
- Turn the stove on medium heat.
- Add in flour & water to pan with juices from roasting pan while whisking.
- Add chicken stock & whisk.
- Slowly increase to a boil until it thickens.
Recipe creation Scarlett Forward, Story by Carmen Forward,
Photography by Rachel Trevarton. © Recipe to taste All rights reserved.