This little piggy went to…

I just realised that it’s my blog’s one year birthday. It was round about one year ago that I launched Meat in a Box, and changed my attitude to eating meat forever. It was also a nice coincidence that I found myself subconsciously cooking a similar dish to my very first blogged recipe – some 100 blog posts and eight meat boxes ago!This is a reprisal of the slow cooked pork exercise – this time with a beautiful hunk of Berkshire pork loin from my Dunwood Farm meat box. At an estimate it was at least 3kg on the bone with a very healthy inch and a half of pork skin and fat.

Cooking it was very simple – the real challenge was finding patience. I cooked this joint for five hours on low heat, though perhaps it could have done with just four. I found myself removing myself from the flat as the smell was driving me crazy.

The recipe is so simple:

  • Dry out your pork in the fridge overnight, ensuring the skin does not have any moisture. This is the key to a good crackling.
  • Score your crackling, then rub sea salt and pepper into the cracks – there’s no need for any other seasoning. Make sure the skin doesn’t get wet.
  • Put the pork on a rack over a tray (I found this was essential and you’ll see why later) and blitz it at 230C for 30 minutes, until the crackling is puffed and crisp.
  • Lower the heat to 150C, add some chopped shallots or onions to the tray under the joint, then roast on low for about three to four hours depending on the size of the cut (refer to Delia for precise timings).
  • When the pork is ready rest for at least 25 minutes before carving up.
  • You may want to lift the whole piece of crackling off and put it under the grill until properly crispy.

When I had finished roasting the loin, I found I had decanted more than a wineglass full of fat! It clearly was a good idea to have rested it on a rack… Nevertheless, the pork remained moist and succulent, and very tasty on the bone too. The rack ended up providing only five servings, as the rest was all crackling and bone. I served up with a cider-based gravy, mashed potato and tenderstem broccoli.

This little piggy went to good homes… in our stomachs.


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