Close up photo of Pork Roast with Crispy Crackling being cut with a knife
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4.94 from 76 votes

Pork Roast with Crispy Pork Crackling

Recipe video above. This is how to make a juicy pork roast with tender flesh that's sliceable with a crazy crispy crackling WITHOUT scoring or pricking! Served with a gravy that is to die for. Read the post for extra tips and step photos!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: Pork Roast
Servings: 10
Calories: 746kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

  • 2.5 kg/ 5 lb boneless skin on pork shoulder, unscored (Note 1 & 5)
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt , separated
  • 1 1/4 tsp black pepper , separated
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds (or other herb/spice of choice)
  • 1 tbsp+ 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic bulbs , halved horizontally
  • 1 onion , quartered (brown, white, red)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry white wine or alcoholic cider (Note 2)

Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup (65g) flour (Note 5)
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken broth , low sodium
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Pat the skin dry with paper towels. If time permits, leave in the fridge uncovered overnight (even 1 hr helps). If not, pat extra well.
  • Preheat oven to 220C/430F.
  • Sprinkle pork flesh with 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, all the fennel seeds and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Rub into flesh, right into all the crevices and cracks.
  • Flip pork, drizzle skin with 1 tsp oil, then rub all over with fingers.
  • Sprinkle all over with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  • Place halved garlic bulbs and onion in roasting pan. Place pork skin side up on top of them.
  • Carefully pour wine into the pan, being sure not to wet the skin. Transfer to oven.
  • Immediately turn oven down to 160C/320F (standard) or 140C/290F (fan).
  • Roast 2 1/2 hours. 
  • Check at 1.5 hours to see if the pork is warped and the skin surface is significantly not level. If so, adjust to make the skin surface as level as possible using balls of foil and moving large dislodged pork pieces to the side (key tip for crispy crackling, Note 3). Then return to oven for the remaining 1 hour.
  • Remove pork from oven. If pan is dried out, add some water.
  • Turn oven up to 240C/450F, or as high as it will go.
  • Return pork to oven for 30 minutes, rotating every 5 to 10 minutes or until skin is crisp and bubbly.
  • Transfer pork to serving platter, tent loosely with foil (don't worry, crackling stays super crisp) and rest for 20 minutes. Then slice using a serrated knife.
  • Serve with gravy. Don't pour gravy over crackling - move it to the side! See note for reheating.

Gravy:

  • Skim off all but 2 tbsp of fat from the pan, if you can (I usually do not). 
  • Place strainer over saucepan. Scrape all pan contents into strainer, including onion etc. Press to extra juices from garlic, onion etc. then discard.
  • Add flour into saucepan, whisk to combine.
  • Turn on heat to medium, then pour broth in while whisking.
  • Simmer until thickened to syrup consistency - about 3 minutes - it will thicken more while serving. (Note 4 for colour tip)
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste. pour into serving jug. Serve with pork.

Notes

1. Pork: For best crackling, use a flat, boneless pork shoulder that is not scored, preferably without a big "flappy" piece hanging off it. The perfect piece is a neat square or rectangle shape that is fairly even thickness all over with a flat, smooth skin.
This recipe is specifically designed to work for pork that is NOT scored. But scored pork (ie slashes across the skin) will work just fine too.
2. Liquid - Any dry white wine or alcoholic cider is fine. Even apple juice is great, which I have tried and loved. Chicken broth/stock (low sodium) can also be used but it you do, use half water and half broth for the gravy. Water can also be used (but stick with broth for gravy).
3. Leveling the skin = even heat distribution = better crackling. Read in post. Use scrunched up balls of foil tucked under the pork to level the skin before blasting with high heat to get the bubble.
4. Gravy colour is dependent on the browning in the pan juices. If your gravy is lighter than you want, a cheeky tip is to use DARK soy sauce instead of salt. It will darken your gravy whilst also seasoning it, but no one will ever taste the soy sauce!
5. GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Mix 2 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch with a splash of the broth. Then add it into the saucepan with the rest of the broth and the pan juices, per recipe. As it simmers, it will thicken into a gravy consistency.
6. DIFFERENT PORK SIZES - use the recipe scaler (click on servings and slide) to adjust ingredient quantities based on the size of pork you are using. The cook times below are based on pork that is around 5-8 cm / 2-3.2" thick, including skin. I don't recommend using this recipe for pork less than 1.5kg/3lb.
1.5kg / 3 lb: reduce slow cook time by 30 minutes, and check at 1 hour to ensure it's straight*
2 - 3kg / 4 - 6lb: cook times per recipe
3.5 - 4.5kg / 7 - 8lb: add 30 - 45 minutes to the slow cook time and add 1 cup extra liquid (helps keep the flesh more moist + ensure pan doesn't  dry out)
* Smaller piece = more warping = less stable = risk of tipping over and skin getting wet. 
7. Reheating leftovers - separate meat from crackling, cool crackling uncovered. Store separately. Reheat meat in microwave and crackling in oven at 160C/320F for 5 to 8 minutes.
8. Nutrition per serving, assuming 10 servings and that all the gravy is used. This does not take into account any fat skimmed off the pan juices before making the gravy so it's higher than reality.

Nutrition

Serving: 344g | Calories: 746kcal