|Roast pork shoulder|
|Pork, almost ready for the oven|
Conversely, if your crackling-creating hot-blast is too hot, you'll get gigantic, scary-looking yellow bubbles which, again, are chewy and unpleasant. With my oven, I find that 220C-230C works best, but as all ovens differ you'll have to get to know your own. Trust your eyes and remember that you want an even layer of fine bubbles.
I think you could make a sauce out of the pan juices (indeed, all the connective tissue in the pork shoulder will produce a particularly nice, jellied sauce), but there really is too much fat floating the pan around to be able to do this easily. (At this particular lunch, you'll remember we also had a bunch of other dishes to prepare, so I didn't have time to be carefully straining and spooning off the pan juices).
And here it is!
|Roast pork shoulder|
It looks quite a bit like pork belly when roasted, and being boneless, was incredible easy to carve. Controversial of me to say it I know, when Melbourne seems to be in the grip of Pork Belly Fever, but I like roast pork shoulder even better. You get the crunchy carapace of crackling, you get the juicy and tender meat, but you get a much more satisfying meat-to-fat ratio, without any big mouthfuls of wibbly wobbly fat that you can get with pork belly. The method is ridiculously easy too. If you're a pork lover like me, hop to it!
Perfect Roast Pork Shoulder
An original recipe by Sarah Cooks
1 x 2kg boneless shoulder of pork, in one flat piece with the rind on
1/2 teaspoon each fennel and caraway seeds, or to taste
1 glass dry white wine
Remove any wrapping from the pork and lay it out flat in a tray, skin side up. Allow to dry, uncovered, in the fridge overnight.
7 hours before you plan to eat, take the pork out of the fridge to allow it come to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 120C. Drizzle the olive oil over the pork rind, rubbing it in with your fingers (or a pastry brush). Sprinkle over a generous amount of sea salt, followed by the fennel and caraway seeds. Pour the wine around the pork, being careful not to get any of the liquid onto the rind. Cover the tray with foil, and place into the oven. Roast for 6 hours.
Remove the foil, and increase the oven to 230C. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the rind has turned into glorious, glorious crackling.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Carve into thick slabs to serve.
Serves 6 lucky people