The Roast Pork, probably the most sought after Chinese Roast there is next to BBQed Pork and Roast Duck. The Germans and similarly with the British, this dish also appears in their top of the list go to dishes for Sunday Roasts in Britain and every day meals in Germany (Yes...no kidding).
So I know many have asked how does one make this dish? I have had varying degrees of success with this one and I think it all depends on the cut of the meat, how big it is and how you have rolled it up. I think sometimes, leaving it flat does provide better coverage for the pork skin to crackle up better then rolling it up. Rolling only helps when you have a spit that rotate thus equally cooking your rolled up pork belly. Hence why the Germans call it Spiessbraten (Spitroast). Anyway, enough rattling on to the ingredients:
The general prefered cut of meat is Pork Belly. Ask your butcher to recommend the cut suitable for roasting, clean the skin, punch holes into the skin and scour the meat side.
Spice Mix for Chinese Roast Pork:
5 Tbsp five spice powder
5 Tbsp fine sea salt
Spice Mix for German Roast pork:
3 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
5 Tbsp of a spice pre-mix for roast meats that contains the following: cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper
Method for both types of Roast pork
- Firstly marinate the meat by rubbing the spice mix on the meat side. Then the salt on the skin. Wrap in cling film or a ziplog bag and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. 2 hours is also ok though the meat may not be as flavourful.
- Take out the meat after the desired length of marinating and leave it to come to room temperature. Never roast the meat cold. It will contribute to uneven cooking.
- Heat up your oven to 180 Degree Celcius. Scour the pork skin with your knife but only half way.
- If you intend to roll your pork belly, then use kitchen twine. Tie the twine at one end first and use the twine to encircle the rolled up pork belly. Tie at the other end of the pork belly and cut remaining twine off.
- Sit the meat on the grill section of the roasting pan. This is the grill attachments that comes with a deep roasting pan. In the roasting pan, add about 2 to 3 cups of water. This will help with keep the meat moist when roasting.
- Next cover with tin foil. Then place in the oven to cook for about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, remove the tin foil and place it back into the oven for another 15 minutes before cranking up the oven to 220 Degrees to make your crackling. (Just before cranking up the oven, remove the kitchen twine to avoid it being burnt!)
- Then you will see the pork skin starting to pop, crackle and pop even more. This should take about 20 minutes give or take.
- Remove the roast pork from the oven and let it rest on the roasting pan first before serving. This is to encourage the juices to remain in the pork and not flow out of it.
- The pork oil and juices at the bottom of the pan can be used to make a sauce. Entirely up to you.