Traditional German Roast Pork With Crackling (Schweinekrustenbraten)
During our time in Munich, we spent countless hours in the beer gardens. And one thought takes us back instantly: Sitting under a chestnut tree, the afternoon sun just settling, a cold beer to our right and a sizzling hot Schweinsbraten with dumplings in front of us. But make no mistake, this one is just as perfect for a rainy, windy autumn afternoon in London. With its hours in the oven, the smell circling through your place, it’s mouth-watering and heart-warming even before you eat. And so, inspired by the beer gardens, brewery houses and small local places called “Wirtschaft”, this is our family recipe for the world-famous Roast Pork with Crackling (as it’s translated by the Hofbrauhaus).
Before we start, please make sure you’ve got two items that are essential: an enamelled cast iron casserole dish like the ones from Le Creuset and a basting brush.
Items you’ll probably have to get
- 1 pork crackling loin joint, about 1.3kg
Tip: Try to get it from your local butcher and ask him to not cut the fat at the top. However, if you buy it from your local supermarket, it may already be cut and it works just as fine in our experience
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Check if you’ve got enough of these ingredients at home
- 550ml vegetable stock
- 1 garlic glove
- 1 white onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium tomato
- 150ml red wine
- 1 table spoon vegetable oil
- 2 tea spoons of starch
- salt and pepper for seasoning
Extras you may like
- Potato dumplings (we tend to use the pre-prepared, fresh dough from Henglein)
LET’S START ROASTING,
Get the loin joint out of the fridge, so it can warm up a bit while you’re getting everything ready. Heat up some water in case you’re using a cube stock.
Wash and dry the loin joint but don’t season it just yet.
Pour 200ml of your stock into a large oven-proof casserole and add the loin joint upside down (the fat looks to the bottom). Bring it to boil, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Check occasionally and move the loin joint around every few minutes to ensure the fat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole.
When the time is up, take the loin joint out of the casserole and put it aside. Discard the stock and pad the casserole dry with some kitchen towel.
If the fat at the top wasn’t pre-cut, now is the time. Take a sharp knife and cut the top a couple of times from left to right and from top to bottom. Diamond checks that resemble the Bavarian flag is what we’re after.
Squash the garlic gloves on a chopping board and mix it with a teaspoon of salt and the cumin seeds. Rub the mixture onto the meat of the loin joint (but not the fat at top).
Cut the onion, tomato and carrots into chunks.
Put your casserole back on low heat, add a splash of oil and gently simmer the carrots and onion. Once coloured, add the tomato chunks. After about 2 minutes add 250ml of the remaining stock and the red wine. Let it cook for a few minutes. After that add the loin joint, this time with the fat looking upwards and the meat sitting gently among the vegetables and liquids. Put the lid on and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Switch on the oven, set the temperature to 225° C (use the fan function) and place the casserole without the lid on the middle tray. Let it roast for 60 minutes. Using a large spoon, coat the fat with the liquid from the casserole (this helps preventing it from drying out) occasionally.
Mix a little bit of hot water with two teaspoons of salt. Use a basting brush to apply the salt-water mix to the fat every 15 minutes (but stop after 45 minutes). This will give it real nice crust.
After 45 minutes, add the remaining 100ml of stock to the casserole.
Once the total 60 minutes are up, take the joint loin out and wrap the meat in silver foil (but not the crust at the top). Put it aside for a moment while we’re making the gravy.
Pour the liquid inside the casserole through a colander into a saucepan. Add some water or red wine to achieve the amount of gravy you wish to have. Add 1-2 teaspoons of starch and whisk it together. Place on the saucepan on low heat and let it simmer. Season it with salt and pepper to your liking.
Switch on the grill function of your oven to the highest temperature you have. Once hot, place the foil wrapped loin joint onto the middle tray and let it grill properly. It’s ready when it’s very crusty and has a dark brown colour.
Get your plates and everything for the table ready.
Take the loin joint out of the oven, unwrap it and cut it into pieces using a very sharp knife. Place the pieces onto your plates. Pour over the gravy, add some dumplings if you have and enjoy.
ENJOY & SHARE
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