Rack of Pork Roast With Crackling

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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  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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 😀

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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.
    john@kitchenriffs recently posted..The Scorpion Cocktail

  5. says

    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

  6. says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  7. says

    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…
    Louise recently posted..A Dreamie Cake for National Creamsicle Day!

    • says

      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?

  8. says

    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.

    • says

      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. :)

    • says

      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)

  9. Eha says

    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 :) !

  10. says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  11. says

    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.. :)

  12. says

    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. =)

  13. says

    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!
    Jas@AbsolutelyJas recently posted..Salivating at Spirit House

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