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Cracking the Da Vinci code of crackling

Learn to get your Christmas crackling perfect every time with our butcher's roasting secrets.

Cracking the Da Vinci code of crackling

Forget the age-old problems every Christmas Day about who’s bringing what for lunch, or what presents to buy distant relatives, or jumping from house to house for rushed catch ups. Surely the perennial Christmas dilemma is this: how do I get my pork crackling perfect and crunchy?

It’s time to relax, stay calm and take a deep breath.

Australia’s leading butcher, Adam Stratton, has mastered the art of cooking the perfect pork crackling – and is generously sharing his tips and tricks ahead of this year’s festive season.

“I’ve cracked the Da Vinci code of pork crackling,” he said. “It’s taken me years to get it right, but I’ve finally nailed it.

“There’s no better thing on Christmas day that a nice loin of pork with some crunchy crackling.

“The good news is that I’m going to share my secret so that you can serve up a memorable and delicious Christmas roast too.

“You can’t go wrong if you follow these simple steps.

“The pork will be moist and juicy on the inside and the crackling will be salty, crunchy and delicious on the outside,” said Adam.

Adam Stratton is a master butcher and runs the successful Tender Gourmet Meats chain in Sydney. He has stores in Hornsby, Warringah Mall and the Eastgate Shopping Centre at Bondi Junction.

Step 1: Place your roast skin side up in the sink, boil the kettle and pour the boiling hot water all over the rind. You will see where the butcher has scored the rind – it will open right up. Balance the pork on something in the sink, like four glasses or four mugs.

Step 2: Towel dry the rind and place uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours before roasting. Refrigeration will continue to dry out the rind.

Step 3: Pre-heat oven to 240 degrees. Half an hour before the rind is ready for the oven, baste the rind in olive oil and a course rock salt, and then place in to a baking dish.

Step 4: Cook in pre-heated oven at the high temperature for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the crackling blisters and goes hard. After that, reduce oven to 180 degrees and continue to cook the roast for 45 minutes per kilo. For a boneless pork roast, we recommend 250 grams per person.

Step 5: Remember to rest your pork roast for at least 10-20 minutes after cooking.

Step 6: Rip in.

Adam Stratton also recommends the use of a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the pork roast periodically.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you sneak a taste of crackling before lunch and no-one notices, it officially doesn’t count. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it before.

About Tender Gourmet Butchery is the most awarded Butcher chain in Australia. There are three stores in Sydney – Hornsby, Warringah Mall, Brookvale and the new store at the Eastgate Shopping Centre at Bondi Junction. Tender Gourmet Butchery prides itself on supplying the best quality meat, award winning sausages & gourmet pre-made meals. 

About Master Butcher Adam Stratton: 

Adam Stratton is Australia’s most awarded butcher. He began his trade more 25 years ago and is now internationally recognised as one of the country’s best butchers. In 2011, Adam represented Australia in a butchery competition in New Zealand, held between the five best Australian Butchers against the five best New Zealand Butchers. Next year Adam is captaining the Australian team in the butchery Olympics or “The Ashes” against England. 

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