Ensuring a perfectly cooked pork loin roast with crispy crackling is simple as long as you plan ahead and follow these instructions.
Firstly, the secret to crispy crackling is dry skin & high heat. Secondly, the secret to perfectly cooked pork is to use a digital meat thermometer. It’s your best friend in the kitchen. It allows you to cook with confidence & certainty. It’s essential for novice and experienced cooks alike. We’ve listed our choice of meat thermometer below.
The overall cooking time is going to depend on the size of your pork roast. This recipe uses a 2kg roast but use this basic guideline for cooking times and adjust accordingly to suit whatever size roast you have.
30/40 mins initially on 240°C
Additional 30-35 minutes per kg on 180°C
(approx 1.5 hours in total)
Recipe and images courtesy of Alana Lowes.
Serves: 6-8 people | Prep Time: 10-15 mins | Cook: 1.5-2 hours
SALTED MAPLE ROASTED APPLES
150g butter, softened
2 tsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp maple syrup
6 apples such as pink lady, halved
fresh sage leaves
APPLE CIDER GRAVY
1 tbsp plain flour
salt & pepper
1 x bottle of your favourite alcoholic apple cider (approx 300/350ml)
For the pork loin. Leave the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight before cooking. This dries the skin out which is vital to achieving crispy crackling.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 240°C. Place the pork in a roasting dish and rub a little olive oil or butter into the skin. Apply the Tree Bark rub liberally (or salt if not using Tree Bark rub). Cook at this temperature for 30 or so minutes to get the skin blistered. NB. All oven temperatures differ so be sure to carefully watch your pork to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Drop the temperature back down to 180°C for approx 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 70-75°C. Check on the crackling 30 mins before end of cooking time. If it’s not crisped up enough simply turn the temperature to 240 degrees again. Again, carefully watch your pork to ensure it doesn’t burn.
For the roasted apples, mix together the butter, salt and maple syrup. Lay the apples in a baking tray (this can be your serving dish) cut side up and dollop the butter mixture onto the centre of each apple half. Scatter the fresh sage leaves over the apples. Place into a 180°C oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden and just soft, but still retaining its shape.
When the pork is done, remove from the roasting dish and let it rest. For the gravy, drain or scoop the excess fat out leaving about 2/3 tbsp of the pork fat in the roasting dish (ensuring the meat juices remain). Stir in the flour until it’s perfectly combined and smooth – no lumps. Place over low heat, stir for 30 seconds then add your cider, salt & pepper. Simmer gently, regularly stirring for 6-8 minutes or until it thickens.
Serve the pork roast whole or sliced with the roasted apples with gravy on the side.