One of the first questions we are asked here at Big Roast is, ‘ Will we get Crackling with our Hog Roast’? It seems that no matter what food fad is in or what the latest nutritional advice is in the headlines, the British public still want their Crackling.
Once we assure our clients that yes they will get Crackling with their Hog Roast we are quite often asked how we ‘do it’ Now this question does not arise because people don’t know how Crackling is produced but it seems that everyone has a method or recipe for perfect Crackling, often handed down within the family over many generations and they want to know ‘ our method’ to make sure it reaches their high expectations.
So, how do we make sure that great Crackling comes with every Hog Roast?
Well actually, all of our chefs have their own methods and tricks but there are two fundimental elements that you need, without which good, tasty and crispy Crackling would be impossible.
The first and of course the most important is the quality of the Hog. The Hog, we believe, must be well looked after and well fed during it’s lifetime. A happy Hog, fed on top quality feed and with plenty of room to wander and roam will produce good quality meat but also a lovely layer, about 1 cm thick, of pure fat just below the skin. This layer of fat is crucial to perfect Crackling as this layer, properly cooked, gives the crispy skin the succulent juices necessary to bite, chew and digest the skin ( Crackling )
The second thing necessary is to reduce the amount of water in the skin. We do this by first giving the Hog about 40 minutes on the heat. This boils any water which starts to bubble and it is then we sprinkle the Hog with salt which we all know absorbs moisture. It is when this is done the skin can start to roast and after a few good hours of steady heat the perfect Crackling is created.