Roast Pork with Perfect Crackling and Apple Sauce

How to get the best crackling on roast pork is the subject of much debate in the kitchen. The secret of success is a good layer of fat beneath the rind. Also, the rind should be scored evenly all over. It helps if you choose a larger joint so there is more time in the oven to develop crisp crackling. Follow our guide to produce perfect roast pork served with a simple Bramley apple sauce and gravy.

  • Preparation time: 20
  • Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours
  • Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes - 3 hours 20 minutes, plus resting 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 20 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

1.5-2kg joint of pork, either leg, loin or shoulder
Olive oil, to rub on joint
Fine sea salt and black pepper

For the apple sauce

500g Bramley cooking apples
25g butter
3 tbsp caster sugar

For the gravy

2 tsp plain flour
450ml pork or vegetable stock

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place the pork in a roasting tin, pat its skin with kitchen paper and leave for 30 minutes for the skin to dry. Check that the skin is evenly scored, adding more using a very sharp knife, if needed.

2. Lightly brush the skin with oil and sprinkle with a thin, even layer of salt and a little pepper. Calculate the cooking time, 35 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 35 minutes. Roast for the calculated time.

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Peel and cut the apples into quarters, place in a pan with 3 tbsp cold water. Bring to the boil

then reduce to medium, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the apples are soft and pulpy.

4. Remove from the heat, beat with a wooden spoon until the apples are smooth, mix in the butter and sugar. Return the pan to the heat and cook gently, stirring until it thickens slightly, if needed, then spoon into a serving bowl.

5. Transfer the cooked pork onto a serving plate. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes, while the gravy is made. Spoon off as much surface fat from the pan juices as you can. Place the roasting tin on the hob and reheat the juices, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Then cook gently for 2 minutes, before gradually adding the stock, stirring all the time until it thickens. Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and season if necessary.

6. Using a sharp carving knife remove the crackling from the joint and place on a board and cut into pieces. Then thinly slice the pork and serve each portion with some crackling, gravy and a generous spoonful of apple sauce.