I’ve never been sure about the phrase ‘like a boss’. From my experience of bosses through my career they generally are the individuals most likely to mess something up or make a stupid decision and then blame someone else, so perhaps not someone I would turn to for advice on how to roast pork…but to try and keep in step with the zeitgeist I have decided to use that very phrase.
So, here’s how to roast pork like a boss!
For this meal I chose a large sized shoulder of pork, as I was feeding 4 very hungry adults and a child, and also wanted plenty left over for some indulgent cold pork & apple sauce sandwiches later in the week 🙂
Buying from a butcher is always my preference, and if they haven’t already done it then you can ask them to score the fatty skin which is crucial for getting a decent crispy crackling at the end.
For the best results you need to give yourself plenty of time. Check the weight of your meat, and allow around 30 minutes of cooking time per 500g plus an extra half hour but also add on an extra hour before you start cooking to allow the meat to stand at room temperature to let the salt do it’s thing…which is the first step below.
Method – How To Roast Pork:
Put the joint into a roasting tin and get plenty of sea salt and sprinkle it all over the joint and then work it into the score lines on the skin. Once you have done this leave the joint out for an hour. The photo below doesn’t look like much salt has gone on the skin, but that is because I have spent a rather anal amount of time getting it hidden in the score lines!
Once this is done you can peel a couple of large carrots and quarter them, peel and cut a couple of onions into halves or quarters and halve a lemon and keep them to one side for now.
After about 50 minutes of resting you can crank the oven up to a high setting, somewhere around 220°C, and wait for it to heat up. Once the oven is warm put the meat in the oven and let it cook on the high temperature for around 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, take the meat out and add a few slices of butter on top and quickly put it back in and leave for a further 15/20 minutes.
I have found that this helps to get some extra flavour into the skin 🙂
After the meat has been cooking for a total of around 30 minutes you can bring the temperature down to around 180°C, and against the usual advice of ‘how to roast pork’ recipes I like to give the whole joint a baste from the juice and melted butter at this point.
Now wrap the joint in foil and get the carrots, onion and lemon that you cut up earlier and chuck it all into the bottom of the roasting dish…this will help to add flavour to the juices that appear through the rest of the cooking process and all of that will be used for making gravy. You won’t be eating these veg.
Put it all back in the oven and cook for 30 minutes per 500g of meat (so 2 hours for a 2kg joint).
It may seem that wrapping the pork in the foil will not help to create the crispy crackling, and that is indeed true, but my own view is that this helps to cook the actual meat of the joint better and keeps it succulent…we’ll mess around with the crisping of the crackling towards the end if you want something that looks like massive pork scratchings!
As you get towards 20 or 30 minutes left of cooking time you can quickly take the joint out of the oven and remove the foil and pop it back in.
It should start to be looking like a damn fine piece of meat at this point, but it needs the full cooking time as dictated by the weight of the joint. You can lightly roast beef or lamb, but pork needs to be cooked all the way through to definitely be safe to eat.
Once the cooking time is up you should have the perfect joint…and here’s one I made earlier:
Now the meat needs to rest for around 15/20 minutes – this is an important part of the process for any joint of meat after cooking as the muscle fibres that you have been cooking now need to ‘relax’ so that they are softer to eat. Meat like this straight from the oven will be chewier than you like.
If you are completely addicted to proper crispy crackling, then before letting the meat rest you can carefully remove the crackling skin with a very sharp knife and put it back in the oven at 220°C again and let it roast for the 15/20 minutes that the actual meat is resting.
This way, in my humble opinion, gives you the best of both worlds…really succulent pork meat that is cooked to perfection as well as really crisp crackling and removes the risk of over-cooking the pork meat while you strive for an ultra-crispy skin.
After the cooking is finished you should have a roasting tin full of really flavoursome juice, and this is the main ingredient for the gravy. Discard the vegetables and lemon from the tin and pour the juice into a gravy jug. Add in 3 teaspoons of gravy granule mix and then add around 1/3 to 1/2 pint of boiling water and stir it all in for a 2 minutes. Better than boiling water though is to use any water you might have in a pan from cooking the veg to go with the meat…if you boiled up some broccoli or carrots etc then save the water they cooked in, bring it to the boil and use that for the gravy mix for an extra hit of flavour. Add a little bit of red wine to the gravy and taste it as you go along…you will hit gravy heaven at some point through this process.
Interestingly, the only wine I had on this particular day was the dregs of a bottle of Chocolate Drop wine, which is a chocolate flavoured red wine…and it worked an absolute treat!! I will be testing that again the next time I make a decent gravy, but it could be the secret ingredient from hereon!
So there you go…just my opinion on how to roast pork and it works for me. Not sure it really is how you roast it ‘like a boss’ but there were no complaints around the table and it tasted perfect to me.
Happy eating y’all 🙂