They say this as if cooking pork is easy, Australians love Pork we consume 22.2 kilo- per year though this may sound not like much, it is the size of an average 4-year-old toddler, most airlines will let you take this much for check-in baggage without charging you extra. Think of the bag you pack when travelling for 10 days or more and tell me if you think you can eat this? I suspect you can’t, Writing this now it seems a lot but we Australian eat more in Red Meat than in Pork.
We have branched out to get some pork from neighbours, free range and organic, it has a beautiful taste and I noted that the ‘crackling wasn’t the perfect colour pink we all see in supermarkets. This is because it is free range and organic not kept in piggeries and fed one type of diet without naturally occurring grasses. Pigs – are not necessarily pink either so their skin colour can reflect on the meat. Ours has black patches, this make absolutely no difference to the beautiful fresh taste of the meat.
But being a meat cooker, I didn’t account for the skin and meat to cook unevenly. I based my cooking of a rolled roast on our meat weights, 2 kilos cooks for 2 hours at 180 degree Celsius, not the same for pork I discovered. Here are some tips that may be helpful:
Pork is always best cooked over medium heat. Too hot and the meat will have a tendency to dry out
Pork doesn’t need to be overcooked to be safe
Pork (like all meat) continues to cook after removal from heat. For best results, let your dish rest uncovered for 1-2 minutes in a warm environment prior to serving (except for sausages and mince)
Always cut meat across the grain to keep tender
With crackling – the secret for perfect crackling is oil, salt and heat. Score the rind at about 1cm intervals. Rub a little oil and salt well into the scored rind and place into a preheated 220°C oven. Cook for 20 minutes at 220°C then turn oven down to 180°C (medium heat) and cook roast for 45 minutes per kilogram. Rest under foil for 5-10 minutes.
Without crackling – sear first in a pan. Place in a preheated 180°C oven and cook for 40 minutes per kilogram. Rest under foil for 5-10 minutes. To aid even cooking, place roast on an elevated rack in the oven or onto halved carrots or potatoes to elevate.
If in doubt ask your supplier or butcher, next time I will know – these tricks would have been handy before I started cooking it and we didn’t eat till late
for more handy tips go to http://www.pork.com.au