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Herb Roasted Crackling Pork with Apple Chutney

Herb Roasted Crackling Pork with Apple Chutney

Roasted Crackling Pork Loin

A hearty family roast, done right, is a cause for celebration – and a great reason to know your local butcher. This roasted pork loin is flavored with herbs and served with spiced apple chutney. And look at that crackling!

Crackling, I’ve decided, is a really good reason to have a good relationship with your local butcher. Given a few days notice, they’ll be able to procure a pork loin to the size required (we ordered a 4-5lb cut, which contained 5 ribs – plenty enough for 6-8 people at one sitting).

We prepare the loin in approximately the same way that we get a turkey ready for Thanksgiving: adding a good, almost surprising amount of salt to the meat, and letting it sit, uncovered, in the fridge for a couple of days. This allows the skin to dry and the salt to permeate through the meat (basically a ‘dry-brine’, which plumps up the cells, adding moisture and flavor when the pork is roasted.

We start the oven very hot, which does most of the work to render the fat and crisp the skin. After half an hour, you reduce the temperature. If you use a leave-in thermometer, push it straight into the thickest part of the pork. You should pull it and let it sit when it reaches 135ºF (the USDA recommendation is to cook to 145F, so the carry-over heat will take care of the remaining cooking). We estimate around an hour, but it may be a little less depending on your oven.

We served this, as is traditional, with Yorkshire puddings, a tart and spicy Apple Chutney (recipe below) and a simple salad with spicy arugula, shaved red cabbage and fresh apples.


What to Tell Your Butcher:

Ask them to partially detach the ribs but leave them attached at one end (this lets you season with salt and herbs in the pocket between bones and meat). You can ask them to fully detach the bones, but you’ll just need to tie everything together more securely when you bake it.

Finally, and this is the crucial step, you want the fat cap and skin left on (not detached), and then scored parallel to the ribs at 1/4-inch intervals. You’ll see from the prep pictures how this looks. The cuts should go just past the skin into the fat, but not fully into the meat. You (or your butcher) can alternatively cross-hatch the surface, which results in smaller pieces of crackling which are more liable to burn in the hot oven. The way we’re recommending here ensures that everyone gets large, crispy slices of crackling.

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About Dry Brining:

Dry brining is a crucial step in preparing the pork loin as it helps to enhance the flavor and moisture of the meat while ensuring a crisp, crackling skin. By applying salt to the pork and allowing it to rest uncovered in the refrigerator for three days, the salt penetrates the meat, drawing out moisture that then reabsorbs, breaking down muscle proteins and resulting in a juicier and more flavorful roast. If you don’t have the time to wait three days, you can still achieve good results by brining for at least 24 hours.

Roasted Crackling Pork Loin


Step by Step Guide to Making Herb Roasted Crackling Pork with Apple Chutney


Preparing the Pork Loin

1. Dry Brine the Pork:

    • Three days before cooking, rub 1 tablespoon of kosher salt all over the flesh of the pork loin, including where the bones pull away.
    • Dry the skin as much as possible with a paper towel. Place the pork loin on a sheet tray with a wire rack, skin-side up, and refrigerate uncovered to let the skin dry out.

2. Score and Season the Rind:

      • Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
      • If not already done by your butcher, score the rind with a very sharp knife, making long, parallel slits 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch apart across the width of the loin, being careful not to cut into the flesh.
      • Rub the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt into the rind, ensuring the salt gets into the slits. Coat the rind with half of the oil.

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3. Season the Flesh:

    • Flip the pork loin over and rub the flesh side with the remaining oil. Place the garlic, thyme, and rosemary up against the flesh.
    • Using butcher’s twine, tie the herbs and garlic to the loin. If you have ribs attached, tie them to the loin as well.

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Roasting the Pork Loin

4. Roast the Pork:

    • Place the loin, skin-side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes at 475°F (245°C).
    • Reduce the heat to 425°F (220°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loin reads 135°F (57°C), about 1 hour. The skin should be puffy and crisp. If it isn’t puffy enough, set the roast under the broiler for a minute or two until it puffs.

5. Rest the Pork:

See Also

      • Remove the pork loin from the oven and let it rest on a carving board for 30 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise about 10 degrees and the juices will redistribute.

Roasted Crackling Pork Loin

6. Carve and Serve:

    • Remove the ribs by cutting the remaining flap, and discard the garlic and herbs. Carve the loin into slices following the scores so that each slice has a segment of crackling.
    • Serve the warm pork loin with cracklings, Yorkshire puddings, and a bitter green salad.

Making the Spiced Apple Chutney

1. Combine Ingredients:

    • In a large saucepan, combine the diced apples, chopped onion, grated ginger, pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, star anise, and coarse kosher salt.

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2. Cook the Chutney:

    • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
    • Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 45-50 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
    • Remove the star anise and allow the chutney to cool.

Recipe Notes

  • Drying the Skin: Ensuring the skin is as dry as possible will help achieve a perfect crackling.
  • Scoring the Rind: Be careful not to cut into the flesh when scoring the rind.
  • Temperature Check: An instant-read thermometer is essential to ensure the pork is cooked to the right temperature.
  • Substitutions: If you can’t find a pork loin with the skin on, you can still make this recipe without the crackling. Ensure the loin has a thick fat cap to keep the meat moist.

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Roasted Crackling Pork Loin

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Roasted Crackling Pork Loin

Herb Roasted Crackling Pork with Apple Chutney


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Emily Clifton
  • Total Time: 74 hours
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x

Description

Paired with a spiced apple chutney, this dish is perfect for holiday feasts or special gatherings throughout the year.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Pork Loin:

  • 45 pounds pork loin (center cut with a thick rind/fat cap, skin intact) (1.8 – 2.3 kg)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coarse kosher salt (divided) (22.5 g)
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed) (60 ml)
  • 2 heads garlic (cut in half across the bulbs)
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

For the Spiced Apple Chutney:

  • 4 apples (peeled, cored, and half-inch diced) (recommended: Honeycrisp or Granny Smith) (about 600 g)
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (100 g)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger (grated) (30 g)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice (120 ml)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (150 ml)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed) (150 g)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (5 g)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (0.6 g)
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt (5 g)

Instructions

Preparing the Pork Loin

  1. Dry Brine the Pork:
    • Three days before cooking, rub 1 tablespoon of kosher salt all over the flesh of the pork loin, including where the bones pull away.
    • Dry the skin as much as possible with a paper towel. Place the pork loin on a sheet tray with a wire rack, skin-side up, and refrigerate uncovered to let the skin dry out.
  2. Score and Season the Rind:
    • Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
    • If not already done by your butcher, score the rind with a very sharp knife, making long, parallel slits 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch apart across the width of the loin, being careful not to cut into the flesh.
    • Rub the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt into the rind, ensuring the salt gets into the slits. Coat the rind with half of the oil.
  3. Season the Flesh:
    • Flip the pork loin over and rub the flesh side with the remaining oil. Place the garlic, thyme, and rosemary up against the flesh.
    • Using butcher’s twine, tie the herbs and garlic to the loin. If you have ribs attached, tie them to the loin as well.

Roasting the Pork Loin

  1. Roast the Pork:
    • Place the loin, skin-side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes at 475°F (245°C).
    • Reduce the heat to 425°F (220°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loin reads 135°F (57°C), about 1 hour. The skin should be puffy and crisp. If it isn’t puffy enough, set the roast under the broiler for a minute or two until it puffs.
  2. Rest the Pork:
    • Remove the pork loin from the oven and let it rest on a carving board for 30 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise about 10 degrees and the juices will redistribute.
  3. Carve and Serve:
    • Remove the ribs by cutting the remaining flap, and discard the garlic and herbs. Carve the loin into slices following the scores so that each slice has a segment of crackling.
    • Serve the warm pork loin with cracklings, Yorkshire puddings, and a bitter green salad.

Making the Spiced Apple Chutney

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large saucepan, combine the diced apples, chopped onion, grated ginger, pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, star anise, and coarse kosher salt.
  2. Cook the Chutney:
    • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
    • Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 45-50 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
    • Remove the star anise and allow the chutney to cool.

Notes

  • Drying the Skin: Ensuring the skin is as dry as possible will help achieve a perfect crackling.
  • Scoring the Rind: Be careful not to cut into the flesh when scoring the rind.
  • Temperature Check: An instant-read thermometer is essential to ensure the pork is cooked to the right temperature.
  • Substitutions: If you can’t find a pork loin with the skin on, you can still make this recipe without the crackling. Ensure the loin has a thick fat cap to keep the meat moist.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Dry Brining: 3 Days
  • Cook Time: 90 mins
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American Italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 400g
  • Calories: 400
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 540mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 150mg

 

View Comments (6)
  • This recipe was a bit time-consuming but totally worth it. The pork was juicy and the crackling was super crispy. The chutney was a nice touch. My family loved it and we will be making it again for the holidays.






  • Come on y’all, this is insaaaaaane. The crackling turned out perfectly, omg, and there was a tug of war around the table to finish everything off. Dang, so good!






  • This recipe was fantastic! The crackling turned out perfectly crispy and the meat was so tender. The spiced apple chutney was great too. Definitely making this again for our next family dinner!






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