The whole thing about roast pork is getting the crackling right without overcooking the meat. Overcooked pork is dry and unpleasant. When it is just a little pink in the middle it is juicy and flavoursome. Contrary to the current belief of some, it is quite as safe to eat “undercooked” pork as it is to eat rare beef and pink lamb.
The secret of getting the crackling right is to scald the rind with boiling water and to dry it thoroughly. Oil and salt it, then to blast it with heat.
- Cut slices into the rind. The butcher has usually already done this, but do more. The more the better.
- Stand the roast rind side up in a colander or on a trivet in the sink
- Pour an entire kettle of boiling water over the roast. This will open the rind up.
- Thoroughly dry the rind.
- Place uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours to further dry out the rind.
- Set the turbo oven to 240 degrees (or preheat a conventional oven half an hour before the meat is due to go into the oven.
- Rub the rind with olive oil and a coarse rock salt, and place in the baking dish.
- Cook at 240 for 20-30 minutes until the crackling blisters and goes hard.
- Reduce temp setting to 180 degrees and cook a further 40 minutes per kilo.
- Rest the roast for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Some people say the high temperature cook should be at the end not the beginning. When I try that I inevitably overcook and dry out the meat.