Succulent juicy pork loin is crowned by shatteringly-crisp puffed crackling. What’s not to love?
If you can buy your pork roasts skin-on; you’ll never do it any other way. You’ll lament every time you missed out on the glory crispy crackling. If you cook it correctly, pork skin transforms into a salty, crunchy layer of pork-rind goodness. Most chefs look for ways to incorporate different textures into their dishes to create contrast and variety. This roast has all the texture built in. Juicy and tender pork loin in the middle, crunchy goodness outside.
Ok, so I’ve sold you on buying your pork skin-on. The problem is, it can be tricky to find. While countries like Australia and Britain frequently sell skin-on pork roasts, it’s just not as popular in the US. Usually I have to head to my local Asian market to buy skin-on pork belly, but for this roast I had to shop online. And in fact, this particular piece of pork is very special, indeed. I got it from D’Artagnan meats (they specialize in a variety of hard-to-find meat and game, their selection of game birds is epic!). So, this rack of pork is actually porcelet – the pork version of veal. The meat is 100% milk-fed, which gives it a delicate and subtle quality.
Worried about drying out the meat? Don’t be! There’s a great way to check that your pork is PERFECTLY cooked. That means, that is has reached a safe temperature but is not a moment overdone. The safe temperature for pork is 145f. You can actually remove the roast when it hits 142-143 degrees as the internal temperature will continue to climb after it comes out of the oven. To check the internal temperature, I recommend using a quality instant read thermometer.
24 hours before cooking, unwrap the rack of pork, pat dry with paper towels and place it skin side up on a rack. Put the rack into the fridge so the skin can dry out overnight. You can remove any moisture that accumulates on the skin surface with a paper towel during this process. The aim is to get the skin as dry as possible.
Preheat an oven to 450f.
Use a sharp knife to score the skin. Make sure to cut all the way through the skin but not into the flesh. Make an incision every 1/2 inch. Wipe the skin down with a paper towel one more time, then rub the skin with the kosher salt.
Turn the pork rack over, and season the meat side with Hardcore Carnivore Camo seasoning. Flip the pork back skin side up, and place onto a rack inside a roasting pan. Pour the water into the bottom of the roasting pan – it should not touch the pork, it’s just there to prevent burning.
Place into the oven and cook the pork for 10 minutes so the heat “shocks” the skin, then lower the temperature to 350f and cook a further hour. At the hour mark, start checking the internal temperature of the pork rack. It may be ready, but if its not 165f, continue to cook checking in 10 minute increments.
Once the pork is cooked, if the crackling is not as puffy and bubbled as desired, you can put it under the broiler (set to low) for 5-10 minutes. Keep a very close watch to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Rest the rack for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.