• Christmas Roast Secrets – pork crackle, gravy & crispy spuds | There are a few things you can do to ensure the success of your pork crackle. Firstly, the skin of the pork should be very dry. Leave it in the fridge overnight with no plastic wrapping on it. Whether or not you score the skin is up to you, but if you do, don’t go through to the meat. Sprinkle it with salt, and as the salt draws the moisture out, pat it dry with a paper towel.
Pork Crackling | Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
2. Massage the skin with a little oil and plenty of salt and cook for about 20 minutes or until the skin starts to bubble up.
3. Turn the oven down and finish cooking.
4. If there are areas of skin that have not crackled, you can place them under a hot grill or use a kitchen blowtorch. Be careful in either case as these methods can easily burn the crackle.
Fall-apart tender meat…
NOTE | See my full pork belly recipe here. It only serves 4 – I would recommend doubling for a Christmas banquet.
Gravy & Crispy Spuds | Method
The next part of a great Chistmas roast has to be the gravy. Making gravy from the roasting pan juices is just so much more delicious than gravy made from a powdered mix.
1. Take your roast out of the pan to rest. Ladle off any excess fat, but don’t get rid of it all, and be careful to leave any juices and yummy brown bits in the pan.
2. Put about ¼ cup plain flour into the pan and stir it around thoroughly to remove any lumps. It will start to cook in the hot pan.
3. Put the pan over a low heat and little by little, add stock. (Beef for beef and lamb roast, chicken for chicken and pork roast.) You can really just get away with water instead of stock if you like. Gravy can be as simple or complicated as you like – add herbs, veg, wine, mustard…variations are endless.
4. Bring to the boil and cook for a few minutes. Add as much stock as you need to make the gravy how you like it – some people want thin gravy, I prefer mine thick enough to stick to the spuds – but not claggy.
Crunchy golden spuds
And now for the roast potatoes. I usually use Sebagoes or Pontiacs for beautifully golden crisp potatoes.
1. Peel and cut them into largish pieces.
2. Boil in well-salted water until a skewer goes through easily and the edges are starting to get a tiny bit rough.
3. Drain very well, and shake around a bit to rough up the edges some more.
4. Have a roasting pan in the oven with 5mm vegetable oil in the bottom. When it is hot, place the drained potatoes carefully into the oil and return the pan to the oven.
5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp. Salt the potatoes while they are still piping hot.
And there you have my Christmas roast secrets for crispy crackle, luscious gravy and crunchy spuds. Enjoy!