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Crackling Recipe

Good crackling, that's crisp.

Ingredients

A joint of fresh pork either leg or shoulder, at room temperature, and with the skin dried of any moisture.

Method

Good crackling, that's crisp – not bendy and chewy – can transform a meal for those who enjoy it, and it's easy to make.

It helps if your butcher scores the skin for you, but failing this make a criss-cross pattern in the skin, penetrating into the fatty layer beneath - at about 1 inch/ 2 cms gaps.

Rub the skin all over with a little olive oil and a scattering of coarse sea salt (this will help dry out the moisture).

Heat the oven to its maximum temperature, then roast the joint at this temperature for 20-30 minutes, on the middle shelf, before turning it down to your planned roasting temperature (perhaps 200ºC/400ºF).

Continue roasting until your meat is cooked, which will depend on the size of the joint; but juices should run clear when a sharp knife is inserted and a meat thermometer should register 70ºC or higher.

It is a myth that pork has to be well-done, when it can become completely dry and unpleasant.

Always 'rest' you cooked meat for at least 10 minutes, in a warm place, before carving – to allow the juices to settle and not run out as you carve.

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crackling scored for roastingcrackling - ready to eat
crackling scored for roastingcrackling - ready to eat