Neil Rankin’s Thrice-Cooked Pork Loin
Start this recipe the day before you want to eat it. If this were for me, I’d knock a few minutes off these timings, but I don’t want to get into trouble, so this recipe cooks the pork loin to medium. The big difference here is that loin can’t be cooked as far as belly, so you have to reduce the end roasting time. But you add an extra low oven drying time so the crackling cooks faster. Timings are for a 1.5kg boned and rolled loin joint, which will serve 4-6 people.
Step 1: poach
Put the joint in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the water for 15 minutes. The pork should reach an internal temperature of around 55°C.
Step 2: chill and dry
Place the pan in the sink under running cold water. When the pork has cooled down so it can be handled, lift it out and dry with a tea towel. Salt the skin, then leave in the fridge overnight, uncovered, to dry slightly and chill.
Step 3: dry-bake
Set your oven to 140°C/gas mark 1. Cook the loin from fridge-cold for 40 minutes. On a probe thermometer it should read no more than 60°C internally.
Step 4: chill
Remove the pork from the oven. Cool slightly, then leave it in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or overnight in the fridge, to chill completely.
Step 5: roast
Set your oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Roast the pork from fridge-cold for 30 minutes, placing the meat on a rack with a tray to catch any fat underneath. The skin should puff up like a balloon. If it goes too dark, pull the pork out and turn down the temperature, then put it back in. The final internal temperature should be no higher than 63°C – if it’s lower, don’t worry as the core temp has already been reached during the previous cooking stages.
Extracted from Low and Slow by Neil Rankin (Ebury Press, approx €26), out now. Photography by Paul Winch-Furness.