I love a pork roast with crackling as it is the ultimate winter comfort food. I still drool over this dish every time I look at the photos and can’t wait until I get a chance to make it again.
We have a meat stash in our freezer and it is all thanks to The Australian Meat Emporium in Alexandria, possibly one of my favourite places to visit. Sydney’s worst kept secret, this place sells meat direct from farm, cutting out the middle man and making it cheaper for you. Also, its fun! When you get there, you put on a giant arctic coat and head into the house-sized walk-in freezer to pick the giant slabs of meat that take your fancy. After you’ve headed out of the freezer and bought your meat, you take it to the 4 or 5 butchers on the way out who will cut the ‘meat slabs’ however your heart desires.
I recently pulled a rolled pork loin out of the freezer from our meat stash and left it to defrost on the counter, spending the day deciding what to stuff it with. Wanting to steer clear of Italian flavours for a change I went about slowly adding ingredients to my mental checklist until I had a fully fledged stuffing formulate in my mind.
When the loin was defrosted, I set about creating a chilli, orange, parsley, fennel and cumin filling which resulted in the pork giving off a heady fragrance each time I opened the oven door (frantically hoping the skin was going to crackle!).
Well, the skin DID crackle, and after taking one bite of the resulting pork, I realised I had to share the recipe here on Chew Town so you can try it too!
Rolled Pork Loin with Fennel and Orange
1 kilo rolled pork loin, with rind on
1/2 long red chilli, roughly chopped
Zest 1/2 orange
4 sprigs continental parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
Small handful sea salt
1 fennel bulb, sliced
Juice of 1/2 orange
Open out the rolled pork loin skin side up and score the rind with long diagonal cuts 1 cm apart being sure not to cut too deep down to the flesh.
In a mortar and pestle combine chilli, orange zest, parsly, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, tablespoon of orange juice, and salt and pepper, and grind until a paste forms.
Place the loin on a board skin side down. Apply the paste to the inside of the pork loin evenly. Roll the loin back up and tie together with string.
Preheat your oven to 220° Celsius.
Rub the outside of the pork loin with the remaining olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt flakes (the salt is important as it causes the skin to crackle when cooking).
Place fennel on the bottom of a roasting pan ensuring the fennel covers the base. Top with the orange juice and then place the pork loin on top (ensuring the the loin is resting on the fennel and not touching the bottom of the pan.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 220° then lower the temperature to 180° Celsius and roast for 40 minutes (the pork is cooked when it reaches an internal core temperature of 72°). If roasting a larger piece of pork, roast for the first 20 minutes at 220° then turn heat down to 180° and cook for 40 minutes per kilogram.
Remove the pork from the oven, place foil on top and leave it to rest for 15 minutes in a warm spot. Once rested, remove the crackling and slice the pork. Break up the remaining crackling and serve with the roasted fennel and the natural juices.