Danish Roast Pork Loin with Crackling (Flæskesteg)

Story

Finding a pork loin with the rind still is on is the key to making this delicious, traditional roast. That added layer of fat is what makes the ‘crackling’ on the top of the roast. And now that we’re learning that fat isn’t what really makes you fat, I can wait to indulge in it this year!

Traditionally, the cut of meat used is the neck or the breast. However, those cuts aren’t always easy to come by. It seems that the modern flaeskesteg can refer to any pork roast with crispy fat on top, so pork loin (NOT tenderloin!) works great. Boneless or bone-in are both fine, but a cut with the bones keeps it juicy. I also believe that first searing the fat, then slow cooking the roast, is the best way to make it juicy and succulent.

If you can’t even find pork loin with the fat on it, try roasting a pork belly.

Ingredients

5 to 6 lbs boneless pork loin with rind (fat/lard) in tact. Bone-in is preferred. Ask your butcher to score the rind about 1/4 inch apart.
salt & pepper
Bay leaves
5 apples (optional)
2 cups of prunes (optional)
red currant jelly (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Farenheit (120 degrees Celsius). If the pork rind is not scored deep enough, cut the slats all the way down to just before the flesh.

Rub the pork rind with salt and pepper, being sure to get deep into the cuts. Allow the salt to draw out some moisture, then pat the rind dry. This will help to get it nice and crispy. Add more salt, rubbing it in. Place some Bay leaves in the cuts, too. Brown the rind on the stove, then place the pork in a roasting dish, fat-side up, and place in the oven. Pour some wine, chicken broth (homemade) or water in the bottom of the pan to keep the meat moist.

Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer says 145 degrees F.  If the pan gets dry during the roasting time, add more liquid to the bottom. If the rind is not crispy enough when the meat is done, you can broil it for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the apples in half and core them. Place the apples and prunes in the roasting pan with the pork. If the fruit doesn’t fit in the roasting pan, they can be roasted separately.

Let the pork sit for at least ten minutes before carving and serving.

Serve each plate with pork, a half of an apple stuffed with red currant jelly (optional) and a handful of prunes.

 

4 Comments

  1. ChrisDC

    You said this: “Finding a pork loin with the rind still is on is the key to making this delicious, traditional roast.”

    Absolutely. Now. Tell me how I do that in the United States.

  2. You have to call around and ask the butchers in your area. I’m in Houston and a couple of years ago it was almost impossible to find it. But now local butchers offers this (at a premium!) and I can even get it at my local Central Market by special order (and not as expensive as the local butchers). They even scored the rind for me last year! I hope you find one!

  3. Mike Wright

    We live near San Francisco. There is a large Asian population in the area. We can get the required pork roasts from a supermarket that mostly caters to Asian clientele.

  4. Great idea, Mike! Did you do the roast for Christmas this year? I recently moved to Connecticut and found a local farm here who can give you the cut of meat you ask for. We asked for “extra fat” which they gave to us for free. We broiled it in the oven until crispy on both sides. It was amazing!

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