Traditional recipes

Crackling Pork Shank with Firecracker Applesauce

Crackling Pork Shank with Firecracker Applesauce

Combine the parsley, shallots, thyme, garlic, and bay leaves. When well blended, stir in the salt. Generously coat each pork shank with the herb mixture. Place the pork shanks in a single layer on a baking sheet with sides. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the cured pork shanks in a deep stock pot to large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with the melted lard, making sure that you have at least a 2 ½-inch clearance from the top of the pot to ensure that the fat does not overflow while cooking. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Test the fat with an instant-read thermometer; it should be about 225 degrees to maintain a quiet simmer. Place the pot in a preheated oven and cook for 2 hours, or until the meat is beginning to pull away from the bone.

Meanwhile, braise the cabbage. Heat the olive oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet and add the onion. Season with salt and saute until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, stir well, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with the cracked black pepper and add the beef stock. Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Remove the pot from the oven and, using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the shanks from the oil. Place the pot over high heat and bring the fat to 350 degrees. Wearing an oven mitt and standing as far away from the stove as you comfortably can (the shanks may splatter hot fat when lowered back into the pot), carefully return the shanks to the fat and deep-fry for about 5 minutes, or until the outside is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the shanks to a triple layer of paper towels to drain.

Serve the pork shanks on a bed of braised cabbage with the applesauce on the side.

Bavarian Beer Hall Pork Shanks

In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the apple cider with the brown sugar, salt, pickling spices and chiles stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the pork shanks to the pot and rub in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, but no more than 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250°. Remove the shanks from the brine and rinse well. Clean and dry the casserole. Melt the lard in the casserole over moderate heat until it reaches 250°. Arrange the shanks in the lard so they are completely submerged. Nestle the garlic in the lard along with the thyme and rosemary. Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook the shanks for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the oven and let the shanks cool in the lard for about 15 minutes.

Transfer the shanks to a rack set over a baking sheet. Strain the lard through a fine sieve clean and dry the casserole.

Return the lard to the casserole and heat it to 350°. Fry the pork shanks 2 at a time over high heat until very crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the shanks to paper towels to drain before serving.

Pork Hock vs Pork Shank

Pork Hocks and Shanks are not exactly the same cut of meat. The Pork Shank is right below the Pik Nik or (Ham in the rear) of the pork. Its a muscle that is well used and strong. The Pork Hock is the part below the shank. Pork Hocks have a lot of tendons and ligaments and a thick skin. So need long cooking or stewing before they are tender enough to eat.

Pork Hocks are also known as pork knuckles or Ham Hocks. They are often used in stews, slow roasts, slow cookers and soups.

Pork Shanks have a lot more meat and are contain a lot of muscle tissue. As the muscle is well used it is full in flavour and can be very tasty when roasted.

Prepping and roasting the pork:

Spread the minced garlic onto the meat and sprinkle on the thyme and parsley. Sprinkle on the black pepper and a pinch of the salt.
Roll the pork joint back up and secure with butcher's string. Rub salt all over the skin.
Place on a wire rack over a roasting tin and roast in the oven for about 2 and a half hours.

  1. Brush the skin liberally with oil so that as the pork cooks, this will render the fat out and help it to blister.
  2. Season with salt
  3. Score the skin with a sharp knife to help the fat escape during cooking, but don’t cut all the way into the meat.
  4. Pat skin dry then rub with salt and oil to help the fat render and the skin to puff and crisp.
  5. Weigh joint and roast the meat for 25 mins at 240C/fan 220C, then turn the oven down to 190C/fan 170C and roast for 25 mins per 450g/1lb.
  6. Rest the meat for 10-15 mins before carving.

Find more crispy crackling recipes…


If you find that the crackling isn’t as crispy as you’d like near the end of the roasting time, turn the heat up and cook for a further 10-15 mins. Be careful not to overcook the meat though, as it will become dry.

Maloney & Porcelli

I recently returned from a long overdue trip to New York and there just weren’t enough meals in the day to eat everything I had on my list. I did manage to fit in quite a bit though and have lots of photos to share but here’s the best thing I ate that week:

I couldn’t take the picture fast enough before my dining companions and I fell upon this giant hunk of meat like hungry cavemen but holy heart disease - this was the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in recent memory. Maloney’s signature dish, the Crackling Pork Shank, starts with two pound-plus pork shank that is cooked very slowly, confit-style in lard, until the meat is meltingly tender. The whole shank then gets deep fried so that the skin becomes shatteringly crisp. It’s served with spicy applesauce and poppy seed-sprinkled sauerkraut. The dish should be illegal but it was so good! I’ve tracked down the recipe in case anyone wants to attempt to make something that calls for 4 pounds of lard. (If you do, let me know!)

Maloney & Porcelli
37 E. 50th St.
New York NY 10022
(212) 750-2233

Pork Shank for Two

Pasquale Jones had been on my list for ages, but it is very difficult to get a reservation, so I was not able to try it until my most recent trip to NY.

A friend of mine has some pull here and booked us a reservation for a party of 4. I had been dreaming of their pastas and pizzas for ages! Unfortunately, I found out the week before that I am gluten intolerant and dairy-free, so that limited what I could order.

We shared many things including a salad, black bass, chicken, pork shank for two and an artichoke. Everything was very good and I love that they are making great use of the wood oven. The highlight for me was the pork shank . It was fork tender and had a great juicy flavor.

When we told the waiter I was dairy free (which also includes butter) he was not the friendliest about it. It's not my choice to have these allergies, so I would have appreciated a bit more understanding.

Otherwise we had a nice experience.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Shirley L.
  • East Meadow, NY
  • 1 friend
  • 9 reviews
  • 15 photos

Hands down best clam pizza ( well it was the first time I'd ever had clam pizza so that may have been a little unfair)

Reception and being seated was seamless which I always appreciate. The waiter wasn't the warmest but that didn't stop me from enjoying the meal. We had the clam pizza and pork shank for two which I highly recommend!

Others will see how you vote!

  • Honghui Y.
  • Financial District, Manhattan, NY
  • 90 friends
  • 250 reviews
  • 108 photos
  • Elite ’21

This place is awesome. Good food, good drinks and good vibes - all of this for your enjoyment provided you are able to get snag a reservation or are willing to wait a while for a table, even if it's 10 pm on a Wednesday night.

When I was here, I ordered the pane carasau and shared a pork shank for two . The pane carasau is in fact not a bread course but a thin, crispy cracker served with ricotta, black pepper and honey. The ricotta and honey mixed together is delicious but the thin, brittle carasau may not be the best vehicle for eating it. Give me a loaf of thick fluffy bread, and this course would have been perfect. Highlight of the night was definitely the pork shank , which is roasted to a crisp on the outside and falling-off-the-bone tender on the inside. The best part though may be the gravy of its own juices that it's sitting in. I would cut a couple pieces of pork , take some roasted fennel and spoon gravy all over - mmm perfetto!

They have a pretty extensive wine list here with price points that should suit a wide range of budgets. The bottle of Langhe nebbiolo we had was very drinkable and paired well with our food. The waiters also seem pretty knowledgeable about the wine list so if you have any questions, just ask!

Also, I'm a huge fan of their no tipping policy. I'm seeing this more and more in NY restaurants (big thanks to Danny Meyer) and hoping more will follow.

Others will see how you vote!

  • JohnnyPrimeC. C.
  • Manhattan, NY
  • 212 friends
  • 214 reviews
  • 4326 photos

The menu isn't too extensive, which I liked. It listed a bunch of eye catching stuff that I wanted to try. I was also happy to see escarole make an appearance here in the greens section (though I didn't get to try it out).

We tried three starters: pane carasau, cuttlefish and sugar snap peas. All were good, but slightly small in terms of portion size for the price point. While this is a "no tipping" restaurant and one should expect higher pricing, I felt that they went a bit too far. Based on my accounting of things, I'd say they are charging about 40-50% more per item. If you figure a 20% tip into the math, then you're still overpaying by 20-30%, depending on the particular item in question. So while the idea of a no tipping restaurant may seem great, the real loser is the customer, who can no longer adjust their tip downward for low food quality or poor service. Our waiter was kind of a dick, and I wasn't super impressed with the food either. As such, I felt like I over-payed for several aspects of the meal.

The pane carasau is essentially what you might get for free in a bread basket at a high end Italian joint or a place like Quality Italian. It was really just thin, crispy bread chips with a small dollop of delicious, warm honey and black pepper ricotta. $9.

The cuttlefish was steep at $18 for the plate. The pickled peppers on top were a nice hit of heat, and it was cooked nicely in terms of texture, with only a slight bit of it being, perhaps, a bit overcooked and chewy. It tasted clean, though, and the charcoal grilling method added a nice earthy ash flavor to it.

The snap pea dish with watercress and cream was probably the best of the three, but, again, extremely overpriced at $17. The peas carried a nice sweetness, but I was hoping for more cream.

Now for the pizza (category 1: full pies only, no slices available). We tried two pies: little neck clam and the special pizza of the day, which was a morel mushroom and cheese pie. The clam pie had good flavor, but it felt a little sparse on the actual clams and toppings. That means the diner feels ripped off when paying $24 for six small slices. That's a hell of a profit margin when you think about how cheap it is to make this shit!

The morel pizza could have used more toppings a bit closer to the edge of the crust. That wasted real estate also translates to the feeling of being ripped off when the bill comes. This was, however, the better of the two pies, in my opinion. The morels had a meaty quality to them, and a good amount of earthiness.

On the pasta angle, we went with the baby goat pappardelle. This was a delicious dish. The meat was very tender, and the pasta was well dressed with sauce. The texture of the pasta was just right. While the portion size felt a little bit small for $23, I didn't mind as much because it was top notch quality.

For the meats, we tried two dishes: pork shank for two , and dry aged rib eye for two .

Let's start with the pork . This was delicious. While a bit small for two , the price of $48 wasn't too bad. Well, I mean, when you compare it to the outstanding crackling pork shank with firecracker apple sauce at Maloney & Porcelli, which only costs $36 and can feed two people with extra to bring home, then, yeah, it's way overpriced here. But given all else on the menu, I felt this was probably the best bargain. The flavors were outstanding and it had hints of sausage spice from the fennel and rosemary. This is a must-order if you decide to come here.

You can pass on the rib eye, however. It definitely delivered on the dry-aged flavor, but it was very small for two people to share at $125. If I had to guess, I'd say this was about 22oz on the bone. Maybe 24oz. For that size steak at a steakhouse, you pay between $50 and $60. So here, I would have expected to pay about $75 to account for the tip being included. At $125, we are looking at a massive fucking mark-up.

Contrast this with the best rib eye in Manhattan over at Osteria Morini, just around the corner, which offers a steak that's more than twice the size of this thing at 52oz, with 120 days of dry-aging flavor, and accompanied by two generously-sized sides for just $145. Uhh. no brainer. Anyway, this steak had a bit of chew to it. Not as tender as we had hoped and expected from dry-aging.

It was cooked perfectly to medium rare, and it had a great crust on the outside. The crispy meat surrounding the bone was excellent as well. However there was no rib cap to speak of. Perhaps it was butchered off for some other use. 7/10.

The steak came with a nice roasted onion. And something came with a side of citrus-dressed arugula.

But the highlight of the night, aside from the pork shank , was seeing Michael J. Fox and Dennis Leary in the dining room, eating together with their wives.

To sum up: skip this place unless you are focused on the pork shank . If that's not your thing, then stick with the pizza and pasta, but I, personally, would still go elsewhere. 2.5 *

Roast Pork with Crispy Crackling

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and rub the scored skin thoroughly with salt. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the pork, skin side up, in a Handi-Foil aluminum foil pan and tuck the rosemary and garlic underneath. Roast for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 350 ° F (180 ° C) and continue to cook for 1 hour.

Add the potatoes to the Handi-Foil aluminum foil pan and cook, turning them occasionally, for an additional 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender inside and crisp on the outside. Test if the pork is cooked by inserting a sharp knife into the center of the meat. Juice should run clear.

When cooked remove the pork from the oven, cut away the crackling. Cover the meat and potatoes with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

You can make gravy to pour over the pork using the pan juices. Applesauce also goes really well with roast pork.

Suggested Handi-Foil Products:
20399 – Cook-n-Carry Roaster/Baker Pans w/Lids
2106 – Ultimates® Roaster/Baker Pans
2014 – Ultimates® Deep Roaster Pan

Beyond Osso Buco

In golf, a shank is not a good thing. But in cooking, a shank can be a very good thing indeed. Shanks, or shins, are the fore and (less often) hind legs from the knee joint to the foot of pigs, lambs, cattle and veal calves. They make mighty fine eating, especially in bone-chilling weather.

When braised, as they almost always are, shank tendons and muscles break down into an almost creamy texture with an accompanying sauce that is rich and satisfying. Shanks are great for entertaining because they can be made well ahead of time and reheated easily.

"There's something very primal about shanks. It's that falling- off-the-bone thing," says Tom Valenti, chef of 'Cesca in New York. "A lot of people respond to this kind of dish. They don't immediately respond to grilled tuna." If there is a sultan of shanks in New York, it's Valenti. In the late 1980s and early '90s, he made his reputation at New York restaurant Alison on Dominick Street with his legendary lamb shanks. At 'Cesca he is featuring pork shanks, which he lovingly braises for 3 1/2 hours before serving them with roasted vegetables and pastina.

Unlike lamb and veal shanks, fresh pork shanks-not to be confused with smoked shanks or hocks used to flavor bean soups and hearty greens-are a relatively new phenomenon at restaurants. "It's common in Germany, where it is usually spit-roasted and served Hofbrau house-style with mustard, potatoes, sauerkraut and dumplings," says David Burke, who introduced the crackling pork shank at Maloney & Porcelli in 1996 as executive chef of the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group based in New York.

Like the Germans, Burke, who just opened David Burke and Donatella in Manhattan, used the larger hind leg shank, which weighs in at a whopping 30 ounces. After making a confit by slowly cooking it in lard, Burke roasted it. Finally it was deep fried to give it that crackling finish and served with jalapeño-laced applesauce.

Burke's shank dish is too arduous for most home cooks, even if you could get the hind shank, which often appears as the thin end of whole hams. Even the foreleg will require a special order. As with lamb and veal shanks, you'll want a pork shank somewhere between 16 and 20 ounces.

The best-known shank dish is osso buco, made with sectioned veal shanks. Though retaining rustic allure, osso buco is more delicate and has a silkier texture than pork, lamb and beef shanks. Osso buco is also more expensive than the other shanks, though still considerably cheaper (and more flavorful) than a veal chop. I have also made cookbook author Marcella Hazan's veal shanks Trieste style, in which the entire shank is braised whole. Though delicious, it doesn't portion as easily as individual pieces of osso buco.

Two features of osso buco are the marrow and gremolada. The marrow's importance is illustrated by the fact that osso buco literally means "bone with a hole." Classic presentations of the dish come with a small fork or knife to scoop out the marrow and spread it on bread. The gremolada is usually a mixture of finely minced lemon rind, parsley, garlic and anchovy, which is folded into the dish a few minutes before serving. Valenti pays homage to the gremolada by transferring the concept to his pork shanks when he drizzles a garlic-infused parsley puree over the dish.

Because of the nature of the animal, lamb shanks are less squat and uniform in size than veal or pork shanks. They taper up to a bony point with little meat on top. Sometimes butchers will "crack" these bones, meaning they make two vertical cuts about three-fourths through each shank. This is a good place to put seasonings such as a paste of rosemary, garlic and prosciutto.

While veal shanks are almost always prepared Italian or French style, lamb shank dishes run the gamut of Mediterranean cuisines, from Spanish to Syrian, and continue east to India. Because lamb is so robust in flavor, it can hold up to more intense seasonings such as saffron, cinnamon and chiles. I've even seen coffee used.

Beef shanks are most often used in stews or stocks, especially in pot-au-feu, the French boiled-beef dish. But they can be wonderful when braised like other shanks. In fact, my favorite of the shanks that I cooked was a braised beef shank with coconut milk, ginger and cumin from Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly's The Complete Meat Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin).

Beef shanks are considerably larger than other shanks, weighing upwards of 2 pounds each. So, when serving six (six to eight is the ideal number of servings for shanks), you'll need three beef shanks, which will give you 7 or 8 ounces of meat per person.

Cooking shanks involves basic braising techniques and five rather simple stages. It's even easier if you use just one sauté pan, no less than 12 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches deep. First season the meat well with salt and pepper and brown it in oil on top of the stove. Valenti doesn't flour the meat, but I like the way it gently thickens the sauce.

Then transfer the shanks to a platter, add fresh oil (or butter) to the pan and sauté until softened a cup of chopped onions, slightly less of chopped carrots and celery and a few chopped cloves of garlic.

For stage three add the liquids and seasonings. For lighter meats such as pork or veal, white wine (about a cup) is used to deglaze the pan. Then chicken broth-approximately 1 1/2 cups-is added. Use red wine and beef broth for beef and lamb. A cup or more of tomatoes are added to most shank recipes, although in Asian presentations, neither tomatoes nor wine are normally used. Add the seasonings and bring the mixture to a boil.

Thyme and bay leaves are basic to most shank recipes. Rosemary goes well with lamb, sage with veal. The secret ingredient though (at least for Mediterranean presentations) is anchovies. A few chopped teaspoons add that je ne sais quoi that will stump even hard-core foodies. In his Complete Book of Pork Cooking , written with Lisa Weiss, to be published this fall (HarperCollins), Aidells seasons his pork shanks with ginger, garlic, cilantro and fermented black beans. The Complete Meat Cookbook goes the Germanic route with cabbage and caraway.

For the fourth step, return the meat to the pan, cover and cook in the oven at 325° F. Veal will need about 2 hours, while beef shanks should cook for about 3 1/2 hours pork and lamb somewhere in between. The meat should be easy to pierce with a knife, but not falling apart. For added caramelization, uncover the meat after an hour of cooking, allowing part of the shanks to be exposed. Turn the shanks (except beef shanks, which are too large) every half hour to get even color.

To finish the dish, remove the shanks to a warm platter while you skim the grease from the top of the pan juices, then reduce them on top of the stove. Valenti strains out the vegetables, but I keep them in. If needed, thicken the sauce with a beurre manié (softened butter mixed with flour).

Valenti thinks a "neutral white puree" is a good foil for most braised dishes. Osso buco is typically accompanied by risotto. Polenta would also be good. For lamb, a simple white bean puree is almost de rigueur. I put a ring of this puree around the inside rim of a large soup plate. The shank goes in the middle and sauce on top and around. Don't overdo it with the sauce. Hearty greens such as braised chard, broccoli rabe and mustard greens give a color and textural contrast.

Rustic wines fit shanks of every persuasion. Côtes du Rhône is great with lamb. Pork requires an earthy white such as older Vouvray, Savennières or a white Rhône. Veal falls somewhere between pork and lamb, so a lighter style Tuscan Sangiovese would work. Zinfandel is a good match for beef, though with that Asian version, an Alsace Gewürztraminer was delightful.

With wonderful wines and succulent meat, you'll be hitting the green every time. Sam Gugino, Wine Spectator's Tastes columnist, is the author of Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock (Chronicle Books).

Sam Gugino , Wine Spectator 's Tastes columnist, is the author of Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock (Chronicle Books).

The quest for the perfect roast pork

Pork crackling is an elusive beast. Get it right and there’ll be a fight for the last piece. Get it wrong and you’ll have a table of disappointed faces.

A classic roast pork just isn’t the same without it. That and the apple sauce.

A tricky beast . Slow-roasted pork and apples. Credit: Sarah McInerney

Crackling sounds simple enough, score the fat on top of the meat, rub salt and oil into it and wack it into a hot oven. But chef Scott Pickett from Melbourne restaurant The Point in Albert Park says it’s the part he gets the most questions about.

What should come out of the oven golden brown, blistered and crunchy, can so easily veer down the path of disappointment - rubbery and soft if it’s underdone and more crunch than substance if it goes the other way.

How to get it right confounds so many home cooks, me included as I discovered in this road test. Cooking the meat properly is the other challenge.

When roasting pork, Pickett favours three cuts – the shoulder, the loin and the rack.

“They are probably the big three for me, I love the pork shoulder myself but that’s a long slow roasting process,” he says.

“It has the perfect amount of fat to meat and it is slow cooked on the bone.”

The other two are cooked for a shorter amount of time.

In addition to questions about crackling, the other question Pickett commonly gets asked is ‘how do I know when the meat is cooked?’

“A lot of people are scared to eat it too pink,” he says. “It shouldn’t be rare or medium rare so take it to medium and let it rest.”

Pickett says it’s OK for pork meat to still be a little bit pink but not like the colour of steak. The juices running clear is one guide but a meat thermometer is the best way to tell if it is cooked correctly. For meat cooked to medium, Pickett says the aim is to achieve a final core temperature of between 70 -74 degrees. Cook it for longer if you like your pork well done.

The crackling
Pickett says there are a lot of theories about crackling – salting the meat the night before and brushing the skin with vinegar are two that he’s come across. My local butcher advises rubbing the skin with lemon.

Pickett’s preferred method is to score the skin using a Stanley knife (a chef’s knife is too clumsy) and then rub oil and sea salt into the skin, as well as the crevices created by the scoring process. Most butchers will be happy to score the meat for you – just ask!

“I just do nice, not too deep lines, vertical or horizonal, only the one direction,” he says.

“Go from the thickest part to the thinnest part and start at the smallest end. Pierce it down and drag it over. Don’t go too deep or too shallow. If you go too deep then you expose the meat and if it’s too shallow you don’t really score it.”

Oil and salt it five to 10 minutes before putting the meat in the oven.

“Start it in an extremely hot oven to get the crackling going,” he says.

Scott Pickett’s roast pork shoulder
If you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve, Pickett recommends buying a pork shoulder on the bone and cooking it at a low temperature over a number of hours.

“It’s not going to deteriorate, it is going to confit and break away from the bone more,” he says. “That’s one of the beautiful things about slow cooking.”

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and follow the instructions above to prepare the meat for cracking. Cook the pork at this temperature for 10 to 15 minutes (see road test below for some revisions to this).

“The oil should start to heat up and the salt should start drawing out the moisture and the skin itself should start to crack, puff and bubble like little blisters,” he says.

“[Then] Drop the temperature right down to 120 degrees. That means you have a lovely crispy crackle but the meat won’t overcook or dry out.”

He says cook the meat at 120 degrees for 2.5 to four hours, depending on the size of the shoulder. Use a meat thermometer as a guide to when it is cooked.

Once you take the crackling off, the meat should be falling off the bone.

“All the natural fat in the shoulder itself you’re going to render down,” he says. “That will melt down through the meat and keep it juicy and succulent.”

Pickett doesn’t place the meat on a rack. Instead, once the heat is turned to 120 degrees he adds a cup of water or stock to the pan (enough so there’s half an inch in the pan).

“[That way] The natural juices when they come out, they won’t just evaporate, you’ll get those lovely crispy bits around the bottom of the pan and because it’s from a stock base, you can use it to make a sauce,” he says.

And don’t forget to serve it with lots of roast vegies.

Road testing the slow-cooked pork shoulder

The key to the success of this recipe is patience! Slow-cooking takes time, so if you’ve got friends coming over for dinner probably best to do a trial run first so you can get a sense for how long it will take. Better still, cook it for a lazy Sunday arvo lunch where the nibbles are plentiful and it doesn’t matter if lunch is served up an hour or two later than promised.

I tested this recipe three times over the course of last week. Rather than give you a blow-by-blow account of each success and failure (yes, I experienced both), here’s a summary of my findings:

The crackling (a revision done in consultation with Pickett): This recipe will get the crackling started off nicely at the high heat but the long cook over the lower heat will not finish it off. I found it is better to get the crackling 80 to 90 per cent done before turning the heat down to 120 degrees. For me this was 20 minutes at 250 degrees and 10 minutes at 230 degrees, both using fan forced to circulate the air. I turned the heat down to 230 degrees to stop it from burning. It might take less time in your oven so keep an eye on it!

If the crackling fails: For my first two attempts I tried to save underdone crackling two ways – cutting the crackling off while the meat was resting and popping it under the grill (worked fine but was a bit dry) and cooking the whole shoulder for 180 degrees for the last 10 minutes (keep an eye on this so it doesn’t burn). The latter produced the best results of the two ⟺ilures' but make sure you check the temperature of the meat before bumping up the heat so you don’t overcook the pork.

Cook it to the temperature you want: With this recipe I found the temperature rose very little during the resting process. So don’t take the meat out of the oven expecting the residual heat to continue cooking it. It certainly didn’t for me. Just as every chef seems to have a slightly different temperature range for cooking meat, every home cook probably does too. Throwing my two cents worth in, Iɽ say 75 to 78 degrees is medium.

So, was it worth it? A lot of pork has been roasted in my house over the past week and, as with all successes and failures, I’ve learnt a lot about how to roast pork, and in particular how to make mouth-watering crackling, along the way. Thankfully this all culminated in a beautiful roasted shoulder on the weekend. I think this comment from Plain Eater sums it up, “I think I’m going to go into a pork coma and yet I can’t stop”.

What method do you use to roast pork? Do you go for a slow cook or a faster option? What’s your favourite cut of meat to roast and what’s your secret to good crackling?

Watch the video: SUPER Easy CRISPY Pork Knuckle SECRET Recipe Revealed! Oven Baked Simple Pork Recipe (December 2021).