How to Cook a Pork Roast with Crackling

Recipe from The Good Cook: Pork by the Editors of Time Life Books, 1987

To Roast the Pork

  1. Score the rind (if a leg roast, lengthwise down the centre, then in a herringbone pattern from that centre score).
  2. Place in a roasting pan (on a rack or not, the choice is yours).
  3. Smear olive oil thickly all over.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and rub it into the incisions.
  5. Place the pan in oven preheated to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
  6. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 170 °C(150°C fan-forced).
  7. After 1 hour, baste the pork with fat from the pan (i.e. spoon the juices and fat from the pan over the pork).
  8. Baste every 20 minutes until the roast is done (cooking time about 50 minutes per kg depending on the cut of meat).
  9. If necessary, moisten the pan bottom with wine or water to prevent charring.
  10. To check that pork is cooked – use a meat thermometer 75 degrees – or use a skewer to pierce the meat. If the juices run clear with no trace of pink it is cooked.

To Remove the Crackling

Slice down the centre score line along the length of the rind. With the knife and a carving fork, lift away each half of the crackling and reserve it to serve with the meat.

To Make a Gravy

  1. Spoon off the fat from the juices in the pan, then pour the juices into a saucepan. Deglaze the pan with water or wine if there are any meaty deposits, and then add to saucepan.
  2. Bring the liquid to the boil and then lower temperature and set the pan half off the heat. A skin of fat and impurities will form on the cooler side of the pan; spoon it off and discard it. Repeat for about 3 to 43 minutes or until no more fat and impurities rise.
  3. Pour the cleansed juices into a warmed gravy boat.

 Serve with vegetables and enjoy the fruits of your labour!


The Good Cook: Pork is full of information about pork, recipes and how-to’s.

  • A Guide to Pork Cuts
  • Boning a Loin Cut; Neck End
  • Preparing a Leg
  • Salting and marinating – dry-salt; brine, red wine marinade, green pepper coating
  • Making a stock and stock-based sauces
  • Stuffing techniques and recipes
  • The simple art of sausage-making
  • Recipes and techniques for frying pork, grilling and roasting pork, poaching pork, braising and stewing pork and pork pies, puddings and soufflés.

Do you want to learn more techniques to use in the kitchen? Have a look at books in the The Good Cook Series and explore our range of secondhand cookbooks.