You will need a roasting tin with a rack.
With a roasting fork jab the meat on the skin side very thoroughly. This will allow the fat below the skin to seep through as it renders out and ensure amazing crackling. Sprinkle the meat lavishly with sea salt and pepper and place, skin side up, on the rack.
If after 2 hours the skin is not completely crackling, cook briefly under an overhead grill. If during the cooking it seems to be burning, turn the oven down more, and very loosely cover with a sheet of foil. (If you tightly cover it, steam will be generated and the crackling will go down the tubes.) When the pork is done, allow to sit in the switched-off oven for 20 minutes to relax.
Spear the roast with a fork, and transfer to a large carving board. Turn over and carve with a serrated knife, sawing firmly and energetically when you reach the crackling. The ribs will indicate where you should cut, i.e. between them. Serve on a big plate with any juices that have accumulated in the roasting pan while the meat was resting and also any carving juices.
This dish forms a natural partnership with Red Cabbage. Cold, the meat is delicious sliced in sandwiches, or served with mustard and green salad.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.