Roast Pork with Crackling

Rack of Pork Roast With Crackling

by Maureen on August 14, 2013

Yesterday I shared the wonderful lunch I had with Lizzie Moult.  When I got home my father-in-law was quick to tell me that he really liked pork roast with crackling.  He did NOT say, “You got to eat my favourite dish but I didn’t,” but I swear could hear it in his voice.

“How do you cook a roast pork,” Rob asked, “Is it difficult?”

That was his way of hinting that he’d really like one.

how to make roast pork

Lizzie had sent him a piece of her Irish brick cake and he liked that and wanted to know if I could make that too.  Of course – I loved that cake.  It’s wonderful to cook for someone who really appreciates the effort you put in to getting things to taste really good.

Or maybe he just says that because he knows I’m a soft touch?

There are a few tricks to getting good crackling on a pork roast.  First, choose a cut of meat that has a good layer of fat and rind so I chose a pork rack.  Second, if the butcher hasn’t scored the rind, you need to do that with a very sharp knife.  Third, and what I think is the most important is for the rind to be very dry before roasting.

I opened the package and placed it on a plate in the refrigerator for 5 hours before placing it in the oven.  My friend Iris dries her roast with a hair dryer and she swears by it.  Maybe I’m lazy but I haven’t walked upstairs to get the hair dryer yet.

When I was ready to cook, I preheated the oven to 220C/425F and sliced two onions and put them in the bottom of the baking pan, then placed the roast on top of those.  The onions cooked in the pork fat are so good. Then I rubbed good sea salt into all the cracks where the pork had been scored and a bit extra on top.

I cut up potatoes, carrot and butternut pumpkin/squash, oiled and seasoned them and placed those around the roast and put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes and then turned the oven down to 180C/350F.  Timing is all about the size of the roast and everyone in the know says it’s 45 minutes per kilogram abd 30 minutes per pound.   The Pork Board now says the internal temperature of the finished roast should be 63C/145F. Nobody wants underdone nor overdone tough pork but we do want crackling.

When the internal temperature got to about 58C I turned the oven up to 225C and watched it crackle through the window. It can go from nicely crackled to burnt in a very short amount of time, so watch it.

By the time the crackling was done, the internal temperature for my roast was about 65C.  I rested the roast about 10 minutes because nobody could wait any longer.  The aroma in the kitchen and the whole house to be honest, had us all filled with anticipation.  I served it with the roast vegetables and homemade applesauce.

The veggies were nicely crisped and everyone was happy.  If you thought Lizzie and I sounded like crickets, John and his dad sounded like a plague of them.

Tomorrow I’ll share my version of the Irish Brick Cake.

Irish Brick Cake

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

GourmetGetaways August 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I am so pleased you gave the temps and times and the hint to leave the skin to dry out in the fridge… I never seem to get crackle the way I want it so I can’t wait to give it another try.

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Maureen August 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm

It’s the drying that has made the difference for me. Cook hot, cook warm, cook hot to crackle.

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GourmetGetaways August 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

…looking forward to the Irish brick cake too ;)
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Lisa the Gourmet Wog August 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I have to admit, I’d be pretty jealous too over a roast pork lunch with crackling! One of my absolute favourite meals, thanks for sharing your version x
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Maureen August 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I would have shared Lizzie’s but that was hers to post so I had to cook my own. :)

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Maureen August 14, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Thanks, it was fun seeing how mine would differ. Not a lot of difference although I didn’t have the quality of pork that Lizzie had. Hers came from the farm from a heritage breed pig.

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lizzie - strayed from the table August 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Yummmm :-) Looks good Maureen

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Maureen August 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I learned from a master, Lizzie. :)

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Lizzy (Good Things) August 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Oh my, how I do love a good piece of pork with crackling…. is there anything nicer?

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Maureen August 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

There might be but I’m not sure I want to know :)

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I do adore a good pork roast! In fact my story tomorrow features one. Although I am looking forward to spring, I must say that the roasts and warming cakes will be sadly missed :)
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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 15, 2013 at 12:50 am

I’d give up winter food to have summer back :) When those pesky northerners are finished with it.

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Eileen August 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Pork roast is one of my favorites but we don’t seem to have it very often. I’m not sure why either… I’ve never heard of drying the roast before baking it. Will have to try that! Your roast looks delish!
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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:43 am

It’s expensive here so we don’t have it very often. Lamb is much cheaper here.

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Tricia @ Saving room for dessert August 15, 2013 at 1:48 am

I think I would cook for anybody that appreciated it. I guess that’s why I was blessed with a husband who would eat anything – no leftovers in our house! Can’t wait for the Irish brick cake :)

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

With Rob it’s more than he’ll eat anything – he eats it with such gusto. Today he wants ribs :)

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Juliana August 15, 2013 at 3:15 am

Wow I love how the skin of this pork roast looks…I would love to have a slice of this pork! yum!
Hope you are having a wonderful week Maureen :D

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

Come on over :)

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A_Boleyn August 15, 2013 at 4:13 am

My dad would have made puppy eyes for this meal as well, Maureen. :)

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

LOL I suppose when you get very old there’s not a lot to look forward to and Rob still loves food and still has a great sense of taste.

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Min August 15, 2013 at 4:36 am

Not only do I love the thorough instructions, your writing had me giggling the whole time. My father never tells me directly if he wants something whether it’s food, electronics, gardening tools, etc. I’ve gotten really good at picking up lil’ hints here and there. LOVE how resourceful we can get – Blow dryers are not just for hair ;). I would be extremely irritated if someone spoke to me during this meal as well. Looking forward to your Irish Brick Cake recipe..have no idea what it is!

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:51 am

Min, when you try the brick cake you’ll be like Lizzie and me and there won’t be one bit left over.

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Karen (Back Road Journal) August 15, 2013 at 4:45 am

Maureen, your pork roast sounds so good. I wish I could buy a roast with the rind still on it but I don’t hold out much hope of that happening.
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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:51 am

I’m pretty sure you can ask the butcher to do it for you. You might have to place an order but the customer is always right. :)

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Barbara | Creative Culinary August 15, 2013 at 6:55 am

Two words. Oh and my. Gorgeous.
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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

LOL – three words = you’re too cute (is a contraction one word or 2?)

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john@kitchenriffs August 15, 2013 at 7:16 am

Beautiful looking piece of meat! Good job. I’ve had pretty good luck getting a crackling coat on my pork roasts without being too fussy about drying it, but I think your idea of leaving it uncovered in the refrigerator is a super idea – I’ll be doing that in the future.
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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

good for you! Most American pork roasts had the rind cut off when I lived there. :)

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Hotly Spiced August 15, 2013 at 7:34 am

Your FIL sure is giving you a lot of time in the kitchen; you are churning out the dishes! I love the look of your pork – that crackle looks stunning. I also always dry out the pork skin and yes, it makes it so much easier to get that crackle to crackle. What a yummy dinner and I’m sure your FIL is still smacking his lips xx

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:49 am

He’s waiting for me to take him to the butcher. He wants ribs for dinner and he LOVES to go out.

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The Café Sucré Farine August 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

Oh my goodness Maureen, this is a totally new way to fix pork to me. I’m thinking this would be quite lovely and delicious for Christmas. I bet the aroma is amazing, I love to have a wonderful aroma filling the house when guests arrive! Thanks for another great idea.

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

Chris, most American butchers cut the rind and most of the fat off so you don’t get crackling. You have to ask them to leave the rind on and score it for you. (or you can score it with a very sharp knife or x-acto blade.

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Louise August 15, 2013 at 10:17 am

Hi Maureen!

I was laughing inside while I was reading this post because Marion, my 93 year young “roommate”, often hints when she has a yen for something. As for that pork, well, my goodness! If I could get a pork roast to look like that, I’d gladly dig out the blow dryer. However, the only kind I have is the kind for curly hair, lol…

My problem begins with getting a roast that has fat on it. My butcher and I become at odds sometimes because he insists on taking too much fat off! Perhaps if I tell him your “tricks” he will listen to me. Just look at that beauty!!!

Thank you so much for sharing…
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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:47 am

yes, if you tell the butcher that you want the rind and fat on and for him to score the rind for you – you’ll get this roast :) Wow – a roommate of 93. Do you have to help her a lot?

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

I’m just picturing you drying the roast with your hair dryer! ;) Too funny!

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

I didn’t but my friend and chef Iris does :)

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Liz August 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

Our pork roasts around here are always so lean..I miss the wonderful fat! I’m going to try your trick of roasting over onions…YUM. Your roast looks amazing.

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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:45 am

The pork roasts I used to have in the US had the rind and most of the fat removed. If you can find a butcher and ask for them to leave the rind and fat on, you’ll get crackling. :)

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nancy@jamjnr.com August 15, 2013 at 11:36 am

Your FIL is too cute – and very subtle with his gentle questions which always give him the desired outcome. There is nothing better than a pork roast with crackling it’s the best.
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Maureen August 15, 2013 at 11:44 am

He wants ribs today he said. He has arthritis quite severely and hence drops a lot of things. Just imagine ribs. :) I have lots of laundry detergent! (thankfully)

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Eha August 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

The plums and cherries are flowering all around me in the Southern Highlands . . . but it’s still fun to read and compare the pork recipes: thank your for your timings etc. Hair driers: uhuh – besides getting my locks presentable have used them to dry meat . . . actually the most valuable use may not be ‘amusing’ to some of the readers if put down on paper in black and white :) ! . . . . Most female doctors get huge laughter from patients . . . oops, there I go again :) !

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Roberta August 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

What we do for our men folk! Great recipe, Maureen.

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mjskit August 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Even though I was raised in the south and have eaten a lot of crackling, I’ve never had crackling on pork roast. I love this! Thanks for sharing this recipe and the process! Wonder what the FIL will be requesting next. :)
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Krista August 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Pork roast with crackling is my very favorite Australian dish. :-) I absolutely love it with some fennel seeds sprinkled with the salt. Yours looks amazing and you are so lovely to cherish your father-in-law by making him food that he loves. :-) XO
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Suzanne August 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Wow, that pork roast looks great! Funny how family members know just how to get what they want out of us cooks. They like the food we like the praise when it taste so good.

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts August 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I like the way hints are dropped in your house ;) And I can’t wait to see the cake now!
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Julia | JuliasAlbum.com August 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

This is a gorgeous piece of pork! When you do something so well as cooking this rack of pork to perfection, no wonder your family members use all means possible to get you to cook it for them :)
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Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul August 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Beautifully done Maureen! That crackling looks to die for! A hairdryer? I haven’t seen one of those in years!
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Eva Taylor August 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Wowzers! Does that look great or what? I used to love pork crackling but nowadays I find it just too rich; just as well because I have enough vices as it is. So nice that your FIL has the appetite. What does you MIL do when he visits for such a long time?
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Maureen August 16, 2013 at 1:13 am

He stays busy all day. He starts by reading the newspaper on his computer after his shower and tidying up his room. Then comes breakfast, then he checks the new pot garden, then he tosses the ball for the dog, then it’s lunch time. In the afternoon he checks his emails, writes several and he reads at least a couple of hours a day (you can never take the teacher out of some people). Sometimes he falls asleep in his chair. :)

We go out most days and he always comes with us.

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minnie@thelady8home August 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I am new to roasting pork, and have no idea what crackling means. But this looks delicious, and I would love to try it. Can you order roast pot with crackling at a restaurant? That way I can taste it first.

So much to learn.
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Jen @ Savory Simple August 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I could eat this every day!
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Celia August 16, 2013 at 6:51 am

Drying the rind with a hairdryer! That’s a brilliant piece of advice, thanks M! My tribe love pork and crackling too – I have to limit how often I cook it.. :)

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Mary Frances August 16, 2013 at 10:33 am

Maureen – this sounds absolutely divine!! Thanks for all the tips here – drying in the fridge or blow drying!

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Anne ~ Uni Homemaker August 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

That rack looks so dreamy, swoon! :D And that crispy skin… AMAZING! I so want to get my hands on that.
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Chelsea August 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Cooked perfectly, looks amazingggg!

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Maureen August 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Thanks so much, Chelsea!

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Nami | Just One Cookbook August 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Very interesting and helpful tip about leaving the skin to dry out in the fridge (or hair dry haha!). This pork roast has amazing look and I’d love to make a killer roast like this one!

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Maureen August 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I can only imagine how you’d style and photograph a roast pork. I drool just thinking about it, Nami!

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yummychunklet August 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Perfect crackling!

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Denise Browning@From Brazil To You August 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Great tips, Maureen! The top crust is golden and I bet crispy. You seriously made me want to sink my teeth in this rack of pork.
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Raymund Macaalay August 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Wow look at that crispy goodness, definitely I would devour that crackling first before anything else

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Maureen August 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I’m glad you liked it. Come on over for dinner :)

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Helene D'souza August 19, 2013 at 2:22 am

I have always been intimidated by pork roast. It was not a usual dish in my house in austria. I got to taste it the first time when the Serbians would make a fire behind my uncle’s farm house and cook it there ( i know no oven!). They would turn a young pig for hours, starting in the morning, so that we would enjoy it in the night. =)

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Jas@AbsolutelyJas August 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I’m a newcomer to eating roast pork, and I’ve never done one. I think it was all that eating of dry grey pork that was always served at Christmas in our house that turned me off it. But pork is very ‘in’ at the moment, I do love things with a good crunch to them, and your photo above is making me hungry. Yep. I think I’m going to have to bury the memory of dry grey pork and get my roast on!
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Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice August 26, 2013 at 2:03 am

WOW…this was good. The pork rack came brined, but I let it dry out. Amazing flavor!

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