on air now

Emma Dean’s recipe for crispy pork!


Emma Dean’s recipe for crispy pork, as heard on 3AW Afternoons!


  • ​1 free-range rolled pork loin ~ approx 1 kilo for 4 people. Pick one that has a nice thick layer of fat.
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2-4 tbsp flaked salt


  • Undo the strings of the rolled pork and press out flat. Pat the skin dry with paper towel.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the pork in parallel cuts spaced about 5mm apart. Try and cut about 5mm deep as well (perhaps even deeper if you have a nice thick layer of fat to work with), taking care not to reach the actual flesh.
  • Grind the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle and then add the salt.
  • Rub this mixture into each incision, making sure to get a little bit of salt and fennel in each crack.
  • Cover the underside of the flash only with aluminimum foil or glad wrap, making sure to leave the skin exposed.
  • Put the pork back into the fridge, leaving the skin exposed, this will help dry the skin out perfectly. Leave for about 24 hours! Dry skin = awesome crackling!
  • Before cooking, brush off any excess salt and fennel mixture and then re-roll and re-tie the pork.
  • Let the pork get to room temperature before cooking (this will take about 30-60 mins). So now is a good time to preheat your oven to 250 degrees celcius!
  • Put your pork in a baking dish, skin side up, and place in your cracking hot preheated oven, and cook for ½ hour.
  • After half an hour, turn your oven down to 200 – 220 degrees and insert the meat probe.
  • Cook until the meat probe reads 62 degrees and then remove the pork from the oven immediately and rest for 15 minutes.
  • Drain the fat and whisk in verjuice and salt to taste to make a delicious and quick sauce.