The crackling really is the key!!
I did a medium piece yesterday, and my crackling was (if I say it myself) really nice.
I make a double thickness baking foil container to protect the meat from burning while still exposing the skin to the heat when cooking. I don’t overflavour my pork, rather employing a mixture of crushed star anise, half a teaspoon of 5 spice powder, garlic salt, onion granules, crushed black pepper corns, crushed Szechuan pepper corns and sea salt. I deeply score the underside of the belly pork ( 8mm deep) I do this after the boiling water stage but before placing in the fridge, so to marinade overnight.
I score the skin with a cheap serrated knife that hardly penetrate the skin, ok if it does a bit (3mm between scores, takes time but worth it), but not to depth) and then holding the meat with kitchen tongs (Careful with hot water and sharp knives!! LoL!!) over a sink, pour the contents of a just boiled kettle of water over the skin. You will observe the scoring open up a bit. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Then rub a teaspoon or two of table salt into the skin and then store uncovered overnight on the lowest shelf of your fridge.
The following day remove from fridge, pat skin dry from the dampness that you see.
I then brush the skin very lightly with vegetable oil and sprinkle sea salt crystals over it.
This adds a nice additional texture to your crackling
Copious or not, that is to taste. Watch out for the Salt Police!!
I cook my belly pork for 45 minutes on 250 Deg. C, check to see how the crackling is doing, it should be most of the way there, if not another 10 minutes
Then 45 minutes at 170 Deg. C.
I try to get an internal meat temp of 65 Deg, C, that can be impossible, so use the heat as sparingly as you can whilst still achieving the crackling that pleases you.
That can be a phaff!!
Be careful when removing the pork from the foil container that you made, it will now be full of boiling hot fat. Do this after you have rested the pork for 10 minutes.
Serve with whatever you like, last night it was a tasty snack for us, so the Bolly was pressed into action. Philistine, I hear you cry and probably guilty as charged, but I did all the work so I got to choose.
I have found that the rare breeds produce better skin (stiffer & darker!! for great crackling but have achieved decent results with supermarket fare.
I think that the reason why the results for great crackling can be variable can be more the skin than the technique. I have encountered pork skin that never made good crackling using the same method every time. Tip M&S do a belly pork joint (about £5) which always works.
Sorry, not done chronologically and like a lab method.
But it is easy to hurt oneself with knives, hot oven surfaces and hot oil.
So read the method in its entirety before you start No refunds will be entertained or given!!LoL!!
I lament the day when Burneze and similar products were banished. If you were quick enough, nary a mark to be seen!