Roast Tip #6 – Pork

How to make the perfect…roast pork!

A pork joint coated in crunchy crackling is a welcome addition at any dinner table.

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Pork is usually cheaper than beef and lamb as it’s one of the more fatty meats, but this means the meat will have much more flavour and be very tender once cooked. The best cuts for roasting are the shoulder or the belly, or rare breeds, so always ask your local butcher if they have any in stock.

Preparation
An additional bonus with pork is the crackling. To make the perfect crackling it’s all about preparation. The fat has to be completely dry to crisp up whilst cooking so score the fat and rub with salt, leave overnight in the fridge and then wipe off before cooking.

Some people also pour boiling water over the fat before salting, but remember the fat needs to be 100% dry before adding the salt.

Cooking
Pre-heat the oven to 220oC.
Add your join of meat and turn the oven down to 140oC – 160oC to cook.
The sudden high temperature will help make crispy crackling.

For a juicy joint you need to cook pork slowly for a long time to allow the fat to render through the meat. Our pulled pork which we serve in The Beach Hut is cooked for 6-7 hours! Pork will be cooked when the centre reaches 70 oC so invest in a temperature probe.  Make sure you allow the pork to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

To prevent the joint burning on the bottom of the roasting tin always cook it on a trivet (a shelf of vegetables – carrot, onion, celery).

Use the roasting juices to make the gravy but you can also add a good brown chicken or vegetable stock, it doesn’t have to be pork stock. Add port or redcurrant jelly to add sweetness to the gravy.

Perfect match
Pork works well with anything acidic like apples, gooseberries, plums, raisins and fennel. Add fennel to the roasting tin half way through cooking and add halved apples 15 minutes before the end of cooking.

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