There is a reason that most chefs love pork more than any other meat.
Yes, there’s the whole nose-to-tail craze but pork really is an incredibly versatile ingredient that you can do so much with—not only in terms of cooking techniques but also different cuts.
Shoulders are great for slow roasting and then turning into pulled pork, pan-seared chops are a great mid-week meal and rolled loin is perfect for entertaining.
But if you want a classic roast, you can’t go past a rack and we thought we’d impart some porcine wisdom to help achieve the perfect roast pork.
At the Butcher
Crackling of course is of vital importance, so ask your butcher to score the skin for you. You can do this at home if you want to, but will need either a really sharp kitchen knife or a Stanley knife.
Preparing The Meat
A few key things before you even put the oven on:
- Make sure the pork has been out of the fridge so the meat is relaxed
- Make sure the pork is dry—pat it down with kitchen paper to remove excess liquid
- Try to get the pork off the bottom of the pan—i like to chop up an onion or carrots and then sit the pork on top of it. Not only does it stop it from sticking, but it also imparts some extra flavour and is the perfect start for your gravy.
You can add some flavour now as well if you want—combinations of salt, pepper, bay leaves and fennel seeds crushed up in a mortar and pestle will be delicious rubbed all over the rind.
Cranking Up The Heat
If you want awesome crackling (and who doesn’t??) you now need to blast the pork in the oven for around 20 minutes so the skin starts to puff and bubble.
Then you’ll need to lower the temperature to 160C and cook for around 30 minutes for every 450g.
Always let the pork rest for around 20 minutes before serving.
If you’ve followed the steps of roasting your pork on onions or carrots, you’re halfway to having a decent gravy. While the meat is resting, scrape the contents of the roasting tin into a saucepan removing some of the excess fat. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour, then mix well until you have a thick paste. Splash in 100ml of cider and 500ml of stock, then simmer for around 10 minutes or until you’re ready to serve.
That’s it, you should be all set for next Sunday—and don’t forget the roasties!!
If you want to go out to enjoy your roast pork, check these out:
Stokehouse: Roasted pork loin with witlof gratin, pickled carrot and raisin salad, parsley and mustard seeds.
German Club: Slow roasted pork hock w/fried potatoes, sauerkraut & smoked beer gravy
The Roll Shop: Roast crackling pork banh mi with homemade mayo and pate, pickled carrot, cucumber and coriander.
The Servery: whole roasted suckling pig on Wednesday’s ‘Piggy in the Middle’
Image credit: Food52