Perfect Roast Pork With Crisp Crackling

Roast pork and crackling

The Spruce

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 100 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
931 Calories
54g Fat
14g Carbs
85g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6
Amount per serving
Calories 931
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 489mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 85g
Calcium 99mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In traditional British Sunday roast lunches, roast pork appears as often as roast beef. Don't wait for a special occasion to make it, as its flavor and texture are so perfectly delicious, you're going to love our recipe and serve it over and over. Our perfectly moist and evenly cooked meat is surrounded by a crisp and sharp crackling. The crackling can be either left on or removed at the end of cooking and served separately.

Our recipe includes a silky gravy, which is a perfect accompaniment to the meat. Try seasonal vegetables, applesauce, and a sage and onion stuffing to complete your meal. And if it's a Sunday lunch, don't forget the traditional Yorkshire puddings. 

If you buy a large cut of pork, simply adjust the cooking time to suit the size (see below). Plus, you can never have too much leftover pork to make delicious sandwiches for lunch the next day.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds pork loin (preferably free-range)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 1 medium onion (halved with skin on)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 cup dry cider (or white wine)
  • 2 cups chicken (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 teaspoon butter (ice-cold)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Perfect pot roast ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C/gas 7.

Cook the Pork

  1. The pork should be at room temperature before you start this recipe. Remove the loin from the fridge 2 to 3 hours before needed and leave it to rest covered. Use a paper towel to dry the pork all over, including the skin.

  2. Place the loin in a large roasting tin. Using a very sharp knife make slashes across the skin approximately a finger-width apart. Don't cut through to the meat (you can always ask your butcher to do this for you). 

    Cutting pork
     The Spruce
  3. Massage the olive oil into the skin. Rub the salt flakes all over the meat, making sure it goes into the slashes.

    Putting salt on pork
     The Spruce
  4. Tuck the two onion halves under the meat. Cook for 1 hour and 40 minutes. If you are using a larger or smaller cut, cook for 25 minutes per pound of pork, plus an additional 25 minutes.

    Pork in a large roasting pan with onion
     The Spruce
  5. Once the necessary cooking time has passed, turn off the oven and remove the meat from the roasting tin. If you want to check for doneness, use a meat thermometer and wait for a safe minimum of 145 F at the thickest part of the meat, away from any fat. Place the pork onto a serving plate, cover loosely with foil, and place back in the oven with the door slightly ajar. If you need the oven for other dishes, wrap the meat entirely in foil and keep it in a warm place.

    Cooked roast pork
    The Spruce 
  6. Allow the meat to rest before slicing.

Make the Gravy

  1. Remove the onion halves from the pan, and place the pan on the stovetop over high heat until the meat juices begin to bubble, without smoking.

  2. Add the flour, and stir well to blend into the meat juices.

    Adding flour to pork gravy
     The Spruce
  3. Pour in the cider or wine and scrape all the juices from the bottom of the pan. Reduce to a sticky glaze. Add the stock and stir well.

    Whisking pork gravy
     The Spruce
  4. Strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Reduce it by one-third over medium heat.

    Pouring pork gravy through a sieve
     The Spruce
  5. Once it has reduced, add the butter in small pieces, shaking the pan gently until all the butter is well combined. Keep warm until needed.

    Adding butter to gravy
     The Spruce
  6. Uncover the meat and remove the crackling from the pork.

    Cutting crackling off of pork
     The Spruce
  7. Cut the crackling into thick strips and carefully slice the pork.

    Carve crackling on pot roast
    The Spruce 
  8. Serve pork slices with pieces of crackling and gravy.

    Perfect roast pork with crisp crackling and vegetables
     The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!

For the Best Pork Roast

Try these suggestions:

  • When available, use free-range pork as this will have a good thick layer of fat, needed to keep the meat moist during cooking and to add flavor.
  • As the fat renders down, there's no reason to worry about eating too much of it. But cut any excess fat away before eating if you're worried about the caloric intake.
  • If the pork needs to be stored before cooking, leave it unwrapped in the fridge on a lower shelf. Pork cooks much better when the skin is dry (especially if you want to make crackling) so leaving uncovered helps in this process.

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