Italian-style roast pork

Italian-style roast pork.
Italian-style roast pork. Photo: Jennifer Soo

The key to crackling is to start roasting the pork in a very hot oven and to sprinkle the skin very generously with salt. Any excess salt can be brushed off before carving. Another trick is to quickly blanch the pork, skin side down, in a shallow tray of simmering vinegar and water for a few minutes, before rubbing with the oil and salt.


2 tbsp rosemary, chopped

4 fresh bay leaves

1 tbsp sage, chopped

freshly ground pepper

4 cloves garlic, crushed

zest of 1/2 an orange

1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed

3 tbsp olive oil

1 boned and rolled pork shoulder or leg (about 1.3kg), with the skin scored

extra olive oil



Mix together the chopped herbs, pepper, garlic, orange zest, crushed fennel seeds and olive oil and rub into the flesh of the pork (not the skin). Marinate either overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 240C or 220C for fan-forced.

Remove pork from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting. Rub the skin with some olive oil, and sprinkle very generously with salt. Rub the salt into the skin, place in a roasting dish and put in the oven to cook for 30 minutes. Now turn the temperature down to 180C or 160C for fan-forced and cook for a further 50-60 minutes. (To calculate cooking time, allow 30 minutes of cooking for every 500g of meat.) To check if the pork is ready, insert a skewer into the meat; it should feel soft and the juices should run clear (not pink).

To serve

Allow the pork to rest for 15 minutes before carving.