Roast Pork and Crackling – Let me show you the easy trick to getting a nice crispy crackling PLUS tender juicy meat!
Often people can feel a little intimidated at the thought of cooking a Sunday Roast Dinner. It can turn into a nightmare if you don’t organise yourself and get your timings right so that everything is ready at the right time. A traditional Sunday Roast dinner would usually be made up of a joint of meat, whether it be a whole chicken, leg of lamb, joint of beef or pork, along with roast potatoes, a selection of vegetables, and gravy. Here I will show you how to make a delicious Roast Pork dinner, with lovely cracking! I love the cracking, and enjoy eating it with Home Made Apple Sauce.
The beauty of having a roast dinner is that any leftovers can be used the following day, such as roast pork sandwiches, or chopping the cold meat into cubes and adding to a fried rice for your Monday dinner!
There’s also ‘Bubble and Squeak’ which is a mixture of all the left over vegetables and potatoes, fried up and eaten with gravy the following day. So you may think you would never get through a joint of meat or a whole chicken, but it really can save you money as larger cuts of meat are often cheaper, and much tastier when cooked whole.
Here you will be shown how to roast a joint of Pork, and keep it moist. I will also show you how to get crispy crunchy crackling from the skin of the Pork. Often people find this part the hardest, to get it crispy, but I have an easy way that works! There’s also a link to how to make crispy crunchy roast potatoes , so trust me, this recipe doesn’t require any skill, apart from thinking about your timings, but you do that every day when you have to get up for work, or catch a bus right?
1 joint of Leg, Belly, shoulder of Pork with the Rind / skin ON. Leg of pork (bone out) is the nicest – (less fatty)
1 onion Sliced (see step 5 photo below)
2 teaspoons fine salt
pepper to season
Herbs if you like, Tarragon, Sage, Thyme etc.
2 Tablespoon cornflour or gravy thickener (follow thickener guide for quantity)
500 ml or 1/2 quart of boiling water or better, use the water from the vegetables you have cooked.
1 chicken stock cube.
salt & pepper if needed.
Juices from the roasted pork (optional as it may be fatty)
The Apple Sauce
Calculate 1 apple per person.
See here for cooking instructions for my 3 minute apple sauce.
Calculate roughly 2 medium sized potatoes per person.
See here for cooking instructions for roasting potatoes
Choose vegetables that you like and are in season. for example, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, carrots,cabbage etc. Whatever takes your fancy!
1. Turn oven on to 240C, 475F, Gas 9
2. Prepare the Pork. First, take a sharp knife and cut through the skin, as far as the fat layer in straight lines, about 1 finger width apart. See the photos below.
The cuts should be 1/2 inch apart and about 2-3 inches long as in the photos.
3. Place meat in the sink and pour a kettle full of boiling hot water all over the skin.
4. You see the skin has separated. Pat the skin very dry with kitchen paper, and in between the cuts also..
When you buy your joint of pork, be sure to choose a piece where there is a lot of skin on the ‘top’ as this is what will make the crackling. You can ask your butcher to score the lines on the skin, but make sure the cuts are down to the fat level otherwise it won’t crisp up.
5. Slice an onion and place on a baking dish. First place some aluminium foil on the dish and be sure to have enough foil so it comes up the sides to cover any exposed meat (NOT the skin).
6. Season the underside / exposed meat part by rubbing some pepper and any other herbs you like.
7. Place the meat, skin side up on the onions and then taking the fine salt, sprinkle all over the skin, rubbing it in, and also in between the cuts.
8. Gather the foil to cover the sides of the meat where it may be exposed, that is, if there is no skin covering the meat. This will stop it from drying out.
Adding onions will flavour the juices in the tray which will be added to the gravy and also the steam from the onions cooking will keep the pork moist as well as add flavour.
9. Place the meat in the oven and cook for 25 minutes at 240C, 475F, Gas 9
10. Turn the oven down to 190 C , 375 F, Gas 5, and cook using the guide below.
11. At this point, prepare the roast potatoes and place in the oven after the pork has finished cooking.
12. Prepare your chosen vegetables. Start cooking your vegetables when you have taken your pork out of the oven. If you want to cook them now, you will need to keep them warm somewhere or reheat.
Pork COOK TIMES:
When cooking pork (bone out), please follow these cooking times:-
25 minutes (no matter what weight the meat is) at 240C, 475F, Gas 9 then after 25 minutes, turn oven down to 190 C , 375 F, Gas 5 and cook for 35 minutes per 1 pound of meat.
So if your meat weighs 4 lbs, your cook time will be 25 minutes to start, and then 140 minutes for the 4 lbs of meat. (35 minutes x 4 lbs = 140 minutes).
Top Tippie: If you are going to boil your vegetables, keep the used water to add to your gravy. It’s full of vitamins and will add flavour to your gravy!
13. When the cook time is up for the pork, take out of the oven and let rest for 35 minutes. As soon as it is not too hot to handle, remove the crackling from the pork and place crispy side up on a plate (keep away from the family!!) and then wrap the pork up in the foil to keep moist. You can use the juices in the gravy if you wish, although it may be a little fatty. You can choose!
14. At this point, start cooking your vegetables.
Make up the gravy. If you are boiling the vegetables, use the cooked vegetable water and add to a saucepan, together with the other gravy ingredients and heat up, stir to make sure there are no lumps.
15. Turn your oven temperature back up and roast the potatoes. This should be done whilst your roast pork is out of the oven and resting.
16. Make up some apple sauce if using.
5 minutes before the potatoes are done and when your pork has rested, use a sharp knife and slice the pork ready for serving.
We’d love to hear from you and what you thought of our post. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
Come and check out our other goodies on Pinterest!