Yesterday I had a chance encounter with this lovely lady at the collingwood childrens farm, like all good one night stands I never got her name or number and was left feeling slightly unfulfilled when I woke this morning.
I quickly realised I was still craving pig, I mean Pork.
I must interject here and apologise for the fact that the photographic component of this update is cronologically flawed (mainly because I forgot to take pics of my prep work)
Anyhoo I digress.....
MY TRICK FOR GOOD CRACKLE
For those unfailiar with pork crackling its the outer layer that sometimes goes crispy during roasting, despite being something like 98% animal fat & 2% skin any unhealthyness disolves during the cooking process (this is what I tell myself)
STEP 1- Ingredients:
The best piece of pork for getting good crackling is a rolled side of pork. While the leg is my favourite part of the beast its not the part that crackle grows on. You need to make sure your butcher scores the hide (cuts heaps of slits in the skin) if not make sure you do it.
You will also need
- Olive oil, gold (harvested late) is best for cooking
- Salt, I use rock salt, ground up in a cup
- Herbs (I use a secret blend)
STEP 2 - Pork Preparation
This is easy but messy (just how I like it). Place the pork into a decent sized roasting dish and pour about a table spoon of the olive oil over the top, use your hands and rub it into every orifice, this can sometimes be a little unsettling for the pork, if need be buy it a drink or two first do this, but not to many, the pork should be easy with little inhibition. You must make sure you rub the oil into all the slits, the oil is the key for making the other ingredients stick.
STEP 3 - Crackle Preparation
Rub the Salt into the slits, I usually just separate the split with2 fingers (Are you getting turned on? I think I am), pour in the salt, then rub over. Make sure you rub into every crack. I also rub herbs into the ends of the pork (the meaty bits). Pour another tablespoon of olive oil around the pork and sprinkle any remaining sat and herbs into it.
STEP 4 - Preheat the oven
Heat is the key here. Over the years i've found that electric ovens work better for pork crackle but I actually prefer gas for just about everything else. I set the oven to 240c and put the pork in for 25 minutes, then drop the temp to between 160-180
This is what my little bundle of joy looked like after 25 minutes
At this point I dropped the heat to about 170 and cooked it for another 25-30 minutes
Sometimes I just pull it out and admire it
Time for the spuds, I just peel and half the potatoes then cut slits in them (similar to the pork)
This is after about an hours cook tie as you can see the crackle is coming up nicely
You can see the slits in the potatoes. I always use BBQ tongs to add them so I can roll them in the oil (which with its herbs and pork juice is now full of flavour) without fear of being splashed.
Fast forward about and hour and we are done, note in my eagerness to get a photo I tilted the tray and bathed one end of the potatoes in a little too much oil, I usually use the same BBQ tongs to get the spuds out and place them on a plate lined with a piece of paper towl.
Carving is not my strong point so I wont show you the end result. Lets just say it was liked by all, every family member asked for seconds and the crackle was perrrrfect.
I'm going to try and do one cooking related post every week or two.
Till next time....