“There can be no greater disappointment in a cook’s repertoire than sub-standard, flabby crackling; such wasted potential is enough to make you weep…”
Felicity Cloake, food writer
Pork has been a staple of the British diet since time immemorial. Or at least since the tenth century, when Aelfric, then Archbishop of Canterbury, placed it at the top of his list of edible meats. In fact, the word “pig” comes from the Old English word “picbred,” meaning acorn (a porcine snack). Today, the Brits enjoy their pork simply prepared: roasted with minimal seasonings, served with roast potatoes and veg.
What distinguishes British roast pork from any other is the crackling—a generous layer of fat surrounding the loin that roasts up to a crispy, fatty goodness, and is served on the side. Kind of like an elevated pork rind. The key to making a British roast pork, therefore, is to choose a loin roast that contains a thickish layer of fat on the outside. No skinless tenderloins need apply. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry this cut, try a butcher.
The traditional accompaniment to roast pork is applesauce, preferably homemade and chunky.