Roast Pork with Crackling…

TV personality, chef, politician and bon viveur, Clement Freud, once described his attempt at family democracy when he asked his children to vote on what food they wanted. Their ideal menu was as follows : croutons, without the soup; crackling without the pork; and the skin off the custard without the custard itself, and chips with everything!

I must admit that we share their love of pork crackling. It is the most delicious part of a pork joint, but, astonishingly, in France, butchers always prepare their pork joints by cutting off the skin, so there is no crackling!!

A good-sized pork joint, roasted with all the trimmings, is a real delight, and salty, golden, crisp crackling is the crowning glory. A pork joint should have a good layering of fat. Ask our butchers to score the skin for you with cuts about a centimetre apart. Rub salt, pepper and a little oil into the incisions the night before and leave the joint in the refrigerator overnight. When cooking, start for twenty minutes at a high oven temperature before reducing to your normal roasting heat and allow some 30 minutes per pound/455gm. Let the joint rest for ten minutes before carving. Share out the crackling equally…….

We enjoy our delicious roast pork with all the trimmings : apple sauce, bread sauce, sage and onion stuffing and, of course, delicious rich gravy made from the pork juices from the pan. All this, served with golden roasted potatoes and cabbage, carrots, broccoli or green beans, makes for an excellent family lunch or dinner.

Our pork comes from our own organic Gloucester Old Spot pigs, as well as from other small-scale local farmers in North Devon and also from North Cornwall. While some butchers and supermarkets purchase their pork from Poland, Denmark or other parts of Eastern Europe, we prefer to serve our customers locally produced meat. Fewer food miles, and we know the provenance of the meat!

For a quite different twist to your roast pork, serve it with baked sauerkraut as the main vegetable accompaniment. The sourness of the pickled cabbage sets off superbly the richness of the tender slices of pork and crunchy golden crackling. A real feast!