Curtis Stone cooks the perfect roast pork with crispy crackling 

Ben Robinson
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Pork roast with pickled onions and cider jus.
Pork roast with pickled onions and cider jus. Credit: Supplied

The perfect crackling is a hard cooking nut to crack.

But Curtis Stone has managed it with his recipe for the perfect crackling pork roast with pickled onions and cider jus.

 Curtis Stone on Sunrise showing the crew his his pork roast with pickled onions and cider jus recipe.
Curtis Stone on Sunrise showing the crew his his pork roast with pickled onions and cider jus recipe. Credit: Sunrise

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Pork roast with pickled onions and cider jus

Serves 8 Prep 30 mins (+ cooling, chilling & 15 mins resting time) Cooking 3 hours


  • 2kg Coles Australian Pork Leg Roast Boneless
  • 2 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • ½ cup (125ml) cloudy apple juice
  • 6 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped, stems and leaves reserved
  • 40g butter, chopped
  • Pickled Red Onions
  • 1½ cups (375ml) red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 red onions, peeled, thinly sliced


1. To make the pickled red onions, in a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, peppercorns, coriander and cloves with ⅓ cup (80ml) water and 3 tsp sea salt flakes. Bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Place the onions in a medium heatproof bowl and carefully pour over vinegar mixture. Set aside to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge to chill.

2. Position rack in centre of oven and preheat to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Using a sharp knife or box cutter, deepen scoring in rind and fat of pork (do not cut through meat). Season the pork generously with salt.

3. Arrange the fennel and onion in the centre of a large rimmed baking tray. Top with the pork. Roast for 2-2½ hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into centre of pork reads 50°C. Remove pork from tray.

4. Increase oven temperature to 250°C (230°C fan-forced). Transfer pork to a clean rimmed tray and roast for 30 mins or until rind is crisp and crackling and internal temperature is 60°C. Transfer pork to a carving board and set aside for 15 mins to rest.

5. Meanwhile, discard the fennel and celery from first tray. Pour off fat and use paper towel to blot up any remaining fat, keeping browned bits on tray intact. Place the tray over medium heat. Add the stock, apple juice and reserved thyme stems. Cook, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits on base of tray, for 5 mins or until liquid has reduced by half. Strain the mixture into a medium saucepan and stir in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Using serrated knife, cut pork into 2cm-thick slices. Serve with the pickled onions, gravy and thyme leaves.

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