Friday, 28 February 2014

Crackling Roast Pork

Both my babies are down with the flu and by both babies I mean my husband and 10 month old. Hot soups are a great soother, so for the last few days we've been having chicken and sweet corn soup. Its safe to say that tonight we needed something heartier. A simple crackling roast pork would get any man out of bed and in to the kitchen! In this case it wasn't only the smell of five spice but the sound of 'pop and crackle' coming from my convection oven.

What I love most is the simplicity of this roast. It isn't about how many ingredients you can pack on to the meat, but rather the technique to get the crackle crunching and the meat succulent. I have had plenty of epic fails during my first attempts, some of which consisted of the skin being chewy, the meat too dry or burning the crackle completely! Overtime I learnt that putting some TLC in watching the roast while its in the oven, preparing the meat overnight in the fridge and using salt to dry out the meat were all tricks to get that crackle crunching.

Despite my fridge being packed, I managed to fit in a small portion of what was left. It's safe to say that lunch tomorrow will be pork salad rolls! 

Items you need:

- 1.5 kg of pork belly (3.3lbs)
- 1 tbsp. of chinese five spice (this can be found at your local grocer)
- 1 tbsp. salt

What's Next?

1. Preparation is key. Rub the pork with salt, five spice and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. The salt will extract the extra juice from the pork skin.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 Fareheit)

3. Remove from the fridge and check if the pork skin is dry. If not dab the top with a paper towel and place in a roasting tray.

4. Roast for 30 minutes and keep checking to see if the top of the crackle is burning. If so, remove and skim the crackle skin off the meat and roast separate.

5. I tend to skim the crackle off the meat when I see it popping and heading in to a burn. Cooking it separately will ensure that both the meat and crackle are cooked perfectly.

6. When you have skinned the crackle from the meat, leave the remaining pork meat in the oven to roast for a further 25 minutes (approx.) this will vary depending on your oven.

7. Cut a small incision to test if the juices are pink. If it runs clear, your roast is ready and you can place a foil over the pan to keep it warm.

8. Place the skinned crackle back in to the oven and roast for a further 20 minutes while monitoring it closely to avoid burning.

9. Remove the crackle from the oven and serve immediately. Some suggested sides is a simple apple sauce, sweet chilli and roasted vegetables.

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