What makes a perfect pork roast?
A 2kg pork loin with an Italian-style rub. The meat was from Piper’s Farm – have a look if you want to find something special; the animals have a wonderful life and every single stage of the animal to table process has been intensely cared for.
I use a couple of different tips to help the crackling process before grilling it hot over direct heat at the start of the cook – first, the night before, score the meat and then leave uncovered in the fridge; second, pour boiling water over the skin an hour before you cook. Both help to dry out the skin, causing it to shrink and eventually crackle beautifully. And if you still aren’t happy at the end of the roast, you can always throw the crackling under the grill for a couple more minutes to really make it special!
a beautiful gravy:
There is nothing complicated about the sauce/gravy in this cook. A pear, couple of onions, a clove of garlic and a little seasoning, all caramelising beautifully in the juices from the pork as it roasts and crackles away before finally being blitzed while the meat rests – so simple and so tasty!
that little bit extra:
I love the addition a little pear or apple smoke brings to the dish – a subtle smokiness to the pork and gravy. If you have a second cast iron dish, smoke a cooking apple with some butter and seasoning during the cook and you have a wonderful smoked apple sauce to complement.
what you’ll need
Equipment: BBQ with a lid.¹ Cast iron roasting pans. Pestle and mortar. ¹ Can also be cooked in an oven and grill.
pork loin with crispy crackling and smoked apple sauce: serves 6 – 8
- 2kg pork loin
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 pear, halved
- 3 garlic cloves
- knob of butter
for the rub:
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
for the smoked apple sauce:
- 1 large cooking apple
- knob of butter
the night before:
Score the skin of your pork and leave in the fridge overnight – dries out the skin which helps with the crackling.
Light up your bbq with the coals banked to one side and bring up to 160 – 170C.
(optional) Pour boiling water over the skin of the pork before patting dry – will help with the crackling.
Take the ingredients for the rub bar the olive oil and pound in a pestle and mortar.
Mix 3/4 of the rub with 1 tbsp olive oil and rub into the meat of the pork. Leave for an hour.
Rub a little oil all over the skin of the pork. Sprinkle the rest of the dry rub over the skin with another pinch of salt.
When the bbq is up to temperature, throw in a chunk of apple/pear (the latter here) and lay the pork skin side down on the grill over the coals.
Cook direct for 15-20 minutes until it crackles. Then on either side for 3-5 minutes until all the skin has crackled. Be careful not to burn the crackling.
Meanwhile, scatter your onions, pear and garlic on a cast iron pan. Top with a knob of butter and some salt and pepper.
In a separate pan, place your cooking apple with a little butter and season well.
Once the skin has crackled, place the pork meat side down on the pan. Place on the grill opposite the coals and cook indirect till your internal temperature reads 60-65C. Smoke the apple indirect for an hour or so alongside – once it’s soft, scoop out the insides and leave to cool before serving.
…half way through…
Remove from the grill and rest for 20-30 minutes.
Pour everything left in the pan into a blender and blend for 30-50 seconds until you have the desired consistency for your gravy.
Thinly slice and serve with roast potatoes, gravy, smoked apple sauce and veg of your choice.