Getting pork to crackle has been the bane of my life. Sometimes it crisped beautifully and other times it has been a leathery disaster. I have even tried taking the rind off and crisping it under the grill. This has also been rather disastrous....particularly if you forget about it and it burns to a cinder!
It was a light bulb moment when I finally realised what I was doing wrong and now I have crunchy crackle every single time. The trick is making sure that your pork skin is very, very dry. To do this, as soon as you bring your pork home from the butcher (and I really hope you are using your local butcher 🙂) take the pork out of its wrapping and salt the skin very well. Pop your pork onto a plate and into the fridge - uncovered - for at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours. The longer the better really. When you are ready to cook your pork pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees and place your pork into a shallow baking dish. Make sure that you have brushed off the excess salt if you are not a salt lover. Personally I love a well salted piece of crackle. Do not oil your pork but you may oil your baking dish. I don't bother. Cook the pork in your preheated oven for 30 minutes or until your rind is browning and starting to crackle. Once this has happened, lower the temperature to 160 degrees and cook until pork juices run clear. Now turn your oven back up to 230 degrees and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes. Your pork will be perfect. Don't forget to let it rest before slicing into that deliciousness.
In the photo below I used a rolled pork shoulder that I unrolled and then stuffed with a mixture of ½ cup almond meal, 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds, ¼ cup cranberries, 2 tablespoons parsley, 25g butter and 2 tablespoons orange juice, s & p.