How to roast pork loin with crackling
The combination of juicy sweet roast pork and tooth-shatteringly crisp crackling is a dream come true.
For the pork
- 2kg/4lb 6oz loin of pork on the bone, skin on (look for one with a good layer of fat)
- 3-6 banana shallots
- 250ml/9fl oz dry cider
For the cider sauce
- 570ml/1 pint dry cider
- 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
- 1 heaped tsp honey
- 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp double cream (optional)
- fresh sage leaves (optional)
- Have the butcher French-trim the rib bones. Ask the butcher to score the skin in vertical stripes 1cm/½in apart. You can do this yourself with a very sharp knife.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Dry the pork thoroughly with kitchen towels and rub all over with salt.
- Place the pork and any trimmings into a roasting tin.
- Peel the shallots, cut them in half lengthways and add them to the tin. Pour 250ml/9fl oz dry cider into the tin.
- Roast the pork for 45 minutes (allow an extra five minutes for every additional 250g/9oz of pork), checking occasionally that there’s enough liquid in the roasting pan and topping up with a little hot water from the kettle if necessary
- After 45 minutes (or relevant cooking time) increase the temperature to 200C/375F/Gas 5 to make the crackling crisp up. Cook the pork for another 45 minutes at this temperature (again allow an extra five minutes for every additional 250g/9oz of pork).
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour the cider and chicken stock together in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the honey and mustard and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Simmer, to reduce, for about one hour. The sauce should reduce by three-quarters.
- At the end of the cooking time, when the sauce has reduced, allow to cool slightly and add the double cream, if using. Stir thoroughly.
- When the pork is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes. Pour any juices from the pork into your sauce.
- To serve, remove the crackling in one piece (if it’s not crispy enough then return it to the oven for 5-10 minutes). Cut the loin off the bone in one piece. Carve the meat into thick slabs and serve a good piece of crackling and some shallot with each one. Pour over the sauce and garnish with fresh sage leaves.