The best part of a Sunday roast pork in our house is definitely the crackling. I am amazed any makes it to the dining table because everybody wants to “try it” first.
The secret to a great crackling is dry skin, heat and salt. Make sure the rind is dry as possible, I leave mine uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry. Score with a really sharp knife, like a Stanley knife. Cut into the fat layer but not the meat.
Rub all over with olive oil and sprinkle salt all over, working well into the cuts. It is the reaction of the salt with the fat under the skin that makes it crackle. Now let it stand while you preheat your oven to at least 240C/Fan 220C.
Just before you put the joint in the oven, remove all the excess now damp salt. Pat the skin dry and sprinkle lightly with some fresh salt. After half an hour reduce the oven temperature to cook the meat for the remaining time.
For really moist, succulent pork, always allow the roasted joint to rest for 20-30 minutes. This won’t affect the crackling.
Roast Pork with Crackling
- 1.5 kg Pork leg joint
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 240°C/Fan 220°C/Gas 8.
- Place joint on chopping board and rub the rind dry with kitchen roll.
- Score the rind with a sharp knife and rub it all over with the olive oil.
- Cover with most of the salt working it into the cuts.
- Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Rub all the salt off the joint and from between the cuts.
- Pat dry and lightly cover the rind with 1 tsp of salt
- Cook for 30 minutes per 500g plus 35 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 for the remaining cooking time.
- If the crackling is a bit soft, turn the temperature back up to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7 for the last 15 minutes.
- Cover the joint with foil and a tea towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.