THE PERFECT CRISPY ROAST QUEST – CARAWAY PORK ROAST

Roasted pork with caraway seeds is a classic one at the Austrian Heuriger – but not only in Austrian wine taverns, it’s a classic recipe all over Austria and Germany. That’s why I wanted to learn how to make it for a long time. (Thank you, Constanze, for the suggestion you made on facebook 😉) It takes a bit of practice until you have the perfect crispy roast, but after the third roast or so it worked out great). [Go to recipe directly]

The following recipe therefore is explained in great detail and illustrated with step-by-step instructions, simply because many roast recipes that I’ve found are somewhat imprecise and presuppose roasting experience. I therefore summarized all the tips that I have found to make it more easy. If you have a question, please just leave a comment 😉.

perfect crispy roast

Because somehow we have no tradition in my family to make roasted pork, I had to find my own way to the perfect crust. The result is a mix of different methods and recipes.

While researching on the perfect crust you come across different approaches and methods. And all of them take their stuff pretty seriously.

Pour gravy over the crust!? “Never ever!”, says grandmother Resi on Youtube (only in German). Or maybe repeatedly pour gravy and beer, as this Austrian chef on YouTube (only in German)…? Give a lovingly MASSAGE to the meat the day before you prepare it, like Austrian physicist and entertainer Werner Gruber explains, based on scientific research. (Report in German) So what now? Like … whaat? I am confused, but stay on my way and simply begin with roasting…

Here are the lessons I’ve learned for making the perfect crispy pork roast

Perfect crispy pork roast

You gotta love your pork – and treat it gently

That means, you give it a massage the evening before you prepare it. – Seriously, it works.

Marinate the meat with garlic, salt, pepper, caraway and oil and then massage in a plastic bag for about 5 minutes. Overnight the spices do like soak into the pork and spread their superbness all over. This way you also will, I’m pretty sure, strengthen the emotional bond between you and your roast, it will thank you the next day! (Cooking with lots of love, ya know…) This looks like on the pic below. Please also note the lovely flowers I’ve bought for my darling roast:

Perfect crispy roast

The rind

The rind shall be only cut after it has been steamed! Before that, it’s really hard and takes forever to cut! This will decrease the risks of injury and frustration.

Perfect crispy roast

The popcorn crust – how to get the perfect crispy roast

To get the crust from really crispy, I switch the oven on grill level and increase the heat to 220 °C (~430 °F) for the last 15-20 minutes. There are also people who manage to get it crispy with only 180 °C (~355 °F), but I didn’t manage that so far.

During this time I sit down on the kitchen floor in front of the stove and enjoy the show. The rind pops up bit after bit like popcorn, just wonderful! It may also char rather quickly on grill level, so you should look after it anyway…

Perfect crispy roast

Conclusion

After a few attempts roasting is easy! And, despite countless recipes and instructions on how to get together the perfectly roasted crust, most likely your own experience will do the job best…

Austrian side dishes to caraway roast

I recommend either potato dumplings, bread dumplings, or easiest: to let steam a few peeled potatoes in the gravy together with the roast. (Then you may need a little more gravy to pour into the form.) And coleslaw salad or Sauerkraut, of course!

Last but not least – the Bratlfettn!

After the roasting, I always take aside part of the gravy for a Bratlfettn. (Who’s not familiar with that: the Bratlfettn is nothing more than the cooled gravy, which has already turned stiff again and is a very typical spread at the Austrian Heuriger.)

To be honest, I make the roast only to get some Bratlfettn (and the crust, of course)!. Just put a part of the drippings in a glass and let it cool. Keeps for several days in the refrigerator, but will be emptied earlier for sure.

The cold roast

If there are some leftovers of the roast, keep it cool separated from the gravy. When cold, the roast even tastes better than fresh from the oven! Add horseradish, brown bread, and here we go …

Here is my detailed instruction for the caraway roast:

 

 

 

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Caraway Roast with perfect crispy crust
Step-by-Step instructions for Austrian caraway roast and how to get the perfect crispy roasted pork.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
persons
Ingredients
  • 800 g pork belly with or without bone {~1.8 lb / 28 oz}
  • 4 pcs. garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp. oil e.g. corn germ oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • caraway if possible grated and seeds, [not cumin]
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 500 ml vegetable stock or water {~ 2 US cups}
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
persons
Ingredients
  • 800 g pork belly with or without bone {~1.8 lb / 28 oz}
  • 4 pcs. garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp. oil e.g. corn germ oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • caraway if possible grated and seeds, [not cumin]
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 500 ml vegetable stock or water {~ 2 US cups}
Instructions
  1. One day before the roasting, rub the pork belly with about 4 tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, 1 tsp. grated caraway and 4 crushed garlic cloves (rub all sides). The garlic should be pressed and not cut. This way the meat can absorb the taste better. Similarly with the caraway seeds: grated caraway is absorbed better by the pork.
  2. Place the meat in a plastic bag and massage well for about 5 minutes, so that the spices are really well absorbed by the meat. Now keep in the refrigerator overnight. The whole thing can also be kept 2 days if the meat is really fresh.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C {355°F} circulating air. Circulating air is used only at the beginning, later top and bottom heat is important so that the crust becomes crispy. Place the meat with the RIND DOWN in a roasting tin. Pour 250-500ml soup {1-2 US cups} into the form. It is important that the entire rind is covered with liquid, so that the crunch will become crispy equally everywhere. The soup should be poured about 2-3 cm high {~1 inch}. (Don't pour over the roast directly.)
  4. Leave for 30-45 minutes in the oven with the rind side down. Afterwards it looks like this (or even better, a bit darker):
  5. Now get the roast out of the oven and turn it around. Now on the RIND is ALWAYS UP. Now cut the rind against the fiber at intervals of about 1 cm {0.4 inch}. (Either strips or cubes)
  6. The cuts should be so deep that they enter into the layer of fat under the rind, but definitely not hurt the meat.
  7. Then, the rind is salted properly. This is important so that the rind becomes really crispy.
  8. Add about 4 tablespoons butter on top. This makes the crust brown and helps to create a fine "Bratlfettn" afterwards.
  9. Add caraway seeds on top. Switch oven to 180 °C top and bottom heat. Now roast for about 1 hour. (Depending on how big the piece of meat is. Per 1 kg {2 lb} roast about 1 hour in the oven). The crust is ready when little pop-ups crack all over it. ATTENTION! MOST IMPORTANT STEP: please wait until these "pop-ups" appear ALL OVER the crust (not just a bit here and there). The parts of the crunch that did not "pop up" will be chewy like gum otherwise! If the crust is not crisp at the end, you can switch the oven to grill level and increase the heat to about 220 °C {430 °F}. Take care that the roast does not char.
  10. If pork belly contained bones, remove the bones before cutting into slices. - Let it rest for another 20-30 minutes (covered, not inside the oven) - Enjoy!
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