Traditional Roast Pork with Crackling

Here is a recipe that will deliver rich, moist, roast pork with almost-guaranteed golden, crunchy crackling. Together with poached rhubarb, roasted carrots and a side salad, here is a meal fit for a king or queen.

Serves: 4

Serves: 4decrease servingsincrease servings



Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. If the skin of the pork has not already been scored, score it into the layer of fat underneath in criss-cross fashion about 1/2 inch (2 cm) apart. Use a Stanley knife (with clean blade). Place the pork into a clean sink (no plug). Slowly ladle the boiling water over the meat and skin. This will open up the scoring as the skin contracts. When finished, allow the meat to drain on a wire rack. Dry with kitchen paper and refrigerate skin-side up for a minimum 1 hour (overnight is perfect).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 450 f (230 c). Rub the salt into the scored pork skin. Dribble the vinegar slowly over the skin, the salt will absorb. Combine the the pepper, fennel seeds, sage and nutmeg. Rub well into the cuts on the pork. Rub half the olive oil over the skin and meat.
  3. In a snug-fitting roasting pan or dish, place the onions, garlic, bay leaves and carrots. Sprinkle remaining olive oil over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pork firmly on top. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 f (180 c) and roast for a further 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 f (71 c). Baste every 15 minutes with pan juices.
  4. Transfer meat and carrots to a warm place, covered loosely with foil. Reserve pan juices. After 15 minutes, slice pork into serving pieces.
  5. Meanwhile, poach your rhubarb by adding 1/3 cup of water and the sugar to a saucepan and cooking gently for about 10-15 minutes..
  6. While the pork is resting, make the gravy. Tip all fat from the roasting pan, stir in wine and stock over moderate heat. Allow to reduce a little. Strain sauce pressing the onion and garlic to extract flavors.
  7. To serve, place rhubarb on plate, top with sliced pork and crackling. Add the reserved carrot. Offer sauce separately. Serve with a green salad.


Make sure you buy from a butcher and ask for your roasting joint to have the skin left on. In Australia and Europe, when you buy a pork roasting joint it comes with the skin on and it is scored into the layer of fat between the skin and the meat. To make great crackling, you simply rub salt into the skin, making sure the salt gets into the cuts from the scoring. To achieve successful crackling, cook the joint in a hot oven for the first 20 minutes and then turn down to moderate for the remaining cooking time. That’s it. Dead simple. I have also had great success on a charcoal-fueled weber. Deliciously, juicy, and rich.

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Recipe Info

  • Difficulty
  • prep:20 minutes
  • cook:1 hour
  • Show nutritional information
    This is our estimate based on online research.
    Fat:41 g
    Carbohydrates:8 g
    Protein:50 g
    Calculated per serving.

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