Perfect pork crackling

11 08 2018

I’ve never had much trouble getting a decent crackling on roast pork, but sometimes the edges where the skin turned under were a bit rubbery. For decades, my method has been a well-scored skin, with the scores about 1 to 2 cm apart (about half an inch) and about 1 cm deep, lightly rubbed over with olive oil, then rubbed with cooking salt. That hasn’t changed.

What has changed is how it’s cooked. Some weeks ago, in our state’s newspaper, a top chef published a recipe for a pulled pork done in the oven, promising the best crackling ever. I wasn’t interested too much in most of the recipe, but his method of cooking to get the best pork crackling intrigued me. So I tried it. OMG! Perfect pork crackling, every time, and deliciously soft and tender roast pork meat. But you have to start cooking long before you normally would for a roast.

His method:

  1. Turn the oven on high (220 C [430 F]).
  2. While you’re waiting for it to heat, prep the skin (I used my usual method).
  3. Once the oven is hot, put in the pork leg (or whatever cut you’re using) and roast it at that 220 C temperature for about 30 minutes.
  4. Turn the temperature down to 150 C (300 F), and continue roasting for at least another 3 hours (the time will depend on the weight of the roast — he had 3 hours for a 1 kg piece of meat; I work on about 5 hours for a 2 kg piece).
  5. When done, the crackling will be perfect, and the meat soft and tender.

I also put the veges (typically potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, and half onions) in at the same time, and found that they weren’t overcooked, despite being in the oven for much longer than usual.

Try it!


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