Deliciously tender roast pork topped with perfect crispy crunchy crackling is much easier than you think… This recipe takes just 2 hours from start to finish and only 5 minutes is hands on time!
Easy Roast Pork
What is your favourite roast meat? I really struggle to answer that one… when it comes to ‘fast roasts’ for me it’s a toss up between roast chicken and roast pork… but I think roast pork just pips it! (I like roast beef and roast lamb too, but I much prefer them slow roasted).
One of the things I love about roast pork is just how simple it is to make a succulent, juicy roast, while also creating some deliciously crunchy pork crackling!
How to make perfect pork crackling
The secret to pork crackling lies in getting 5 simple things right:
- Buy the right joint – it must be a ‘crackling’ joint with the rind still on.
- Score the rind in a diamond pattern (or get your butcher to do it).
- Pat the rind dry with kitchen roll.
- Rub salt into the scored rind.
- Cook on a really high temperature (240C / 220C fan / gas mark 9 / 475F) for the first 30 minutes of cooking, then turn the oven down (to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F) for the remainder of the cooking time. This sudden blast of heat is the key to crispy crackling.
And that’s really it – it’s practically foolproof so long as you follow these guidelines.
The best joint for pork crackling
As I’ve already said, the most important thing to get right is that you buy a ‘crackling’ joint, with the rind still on… (and yes, I’ve made the mistake of buying the wrong one before now – some regular joints look like very like crackling joints… with the white fat on top – but if there’s no rind, it won’t turn into crispy crunchy pork crackling, no matter what you do!).
You can get a variety of different crackling joints… my favourites are boneless loin and leg crackling joints. But I have a slight preference for loin which tends to be juicier and more flavoursome.
What to serve with roast pork and crackling?
For me roast pork and crackling has to be served with apple sauce (recipe coming soon!) and lovely pork gravy (see the recipe card below), Classic Yorkshire Puddings and lots of veggies.
But this easy peasy roast pork and crackling recipe would also go really well with roast potatoes, mashed potatoes or even new potatoes, if you prefer!
What to drink with roast pork and crackling?
My personal preference is to serve roast pork with white wine – as I find red wine usually overpowers the delicate flavours of roast pork… and white wine also pairs much better with apple sauce.
Lightly-oaked French Chardonnay, Bordeaux Blanc (and any other Sauvignon-Semillion blend) and South African Chenin Blanc all work well, as does a dry Alsace or German Riesling.
If you prefer red, go for something like a Cotes du Rhone or a Chianti Classico. A decent Valpolicella would also work well here… or even a Burgundian Pinot Noir, if that’s more your style.
What to do with Roast Pork Leftovers
Roast pork leftovers are THE BEST! And I pretty much always buy a joint that’s twice the size we need, just so I can be sure of having plenty of leftovers.
My favourite pork leftovers dish is Pork Ramen (Just follow my Chicken Ramen recipe, but use leftover pork instead of the chicken).
Roast pork leftovers are also great in any of these recipes, in place of the chicken or beef:
- Easy Homemade Chicken Stir Fry
- Roast Chicken Leftovers Stew with Easy Peasy Dumplings
- Leftover Chicken and Egg Fried Rice
- Leftover Roast Chicken Biryani
- Leftover Roast Beef Stroganoff
- Leftover Roast Beef Curry
How long will roast pork leftovers keep for?
Roast Pork Leftovers will keep for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure you get your leftovers into the fridge within 2 hours of finishing cooking.
Can you freeze roast pork and crackling?
Yes, absolutely! Simply place your leftover pork and crackling in a plastic lidded container and put it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Easy Roast Pork with Perfect Crackling
Easy Roast Pork and Perfect Crackling
- 1 kg boneless pork leg or loin must be a ‘crackling’ joint with the rind left on (see note 1 for other weights)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Roast Pork Gravy
- Pork juices from roasting tin and carving board
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 500 ml hot chicken stock – from a cube is fine (I use 1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube)
Easy Roast Pork and Perfect Crackling
- Remove the pork from the fridge approximately 30 minutes before cooking (2 hours before you wish to serve the pork).
- Preheat your oven to 240C / 220C fan / gas mark 9 / 475F.
- Using a very sharp knife, score the rind with deep scores in a diamond pattern (or ask your butcher to do this), then pat the pork dry using kitchen paper.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the rind of the pork and work it in to the cuts using your fingers.
- When the pork has been out of the fridge for 30 minutes, and the oven is at the correct temperature, place the pork on a rack in a roasting dish and put it into the oven for 30 minutes.
- After the pork has been in the oven for 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F and continue cooking for 50 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- For ease of carving, remove the crackling first (it should pull away quite easily), then carve the pork into slices and cut up the crackling into chunks.
- Serve with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes or mashed potatoes, plus apple sauce, pork gravy and all your favourite roast dinner vegetables.
Roast Pork Gravy
- To make a delicious gravy to go with the roast pork, simply mix 1 tablespoon of cornflower with a small splash of cold water in a jug until you have a thin paste.
- Add the hot chicken stock to the jug and stir to combine.
- Tip the contents of the jug into the roasting tray and stir gently to mix the stock with the pork juices and to release the stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Tip the gravy through a sieve into a clean saucepan and gently heat until the gravy starts to bubble and thicken. Take off the heat when the gravy is your preferred thickness. (See note 2.)
- These are the timings for alternative size joints: 1.5kg/3.3lb (30 mins at 240C, 1h15 at 200C) 2kg/4.4lb (30 mins at 240C, 1h40 at 200C) 2.5kg/5.5lb (30 mins at 240C, 2h05 at 200C)
- For a thicker gravy, simply use more cornflower. If your gravy looks too thin in the pan, simply mix up a little more cornflower and cold water and add it bit by bit into the bubbling hot gravy until you reach your preferred thickness.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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