I could talk about how to do this all day. It is the best thing to eat; salty, crispy, pork crackling. There was always a huge amount of swearing over the carving of the roast pork at home because it was never crispy enough and so was impossible to cut. Either the butcher did not score the fat correctly (my mother’s excuse) or it wasn’t cooked in a hot enough oven (my father’s excuse). Either way the pork was always dry in an effort to get the crackling right. Dry pork and soggy crackling – I grew up thinking pork was a penance.
It wasn’t until I went to sunday lunch at a builder friend’s house that the light came on. He presented us with rib of pork with cross hatched crackling that you could pick off in little squares. Turns out he uses a stanley knife to score the fat and changes to a new blade each time for ideal results. He specialises in old houses and his work is always very very good. The meat was juicy and full of flavour too, a totally different experience.
- 1 joint of pork, leg or loin, on or off the bone.
- Any size more than 1kg, ask for it packed flat – its easier to score the crackling.
- fennel seeds (optional)
- Score the fat on the joint in a cross hatched pattern. Cut right through the fat almost to the meat. Rub salt and fennel seeds over the scored skin.
- Cook in a hot oven (220C) for 20 mins per 500g on the bone or 25-30 mins per 500g if off the bone. The crackling should bubble up when its cooked. Pierce the thickest part of the meat with a skewer and if the juices run clear its done. Be careful its easy to over cook pork and then it goes dry.
- If the crackling is cooked before the meat put some tinfoil over it while the meat finishes cooking.
- You can roast veg and potatoes round the joint.
- Eat on a cold wet day with apple sauce and gravy.