You trying to take a bit of a health break from red meat? Pork’s often recommended as slightly healthier alternative and just because it seems criminal not to do so, we recommend you go the whole hog and enjoy your roast pork belly with the ultimate indulgence – the crackling.

To perfect the art of giving your pork roast belly crackling that ear-shattering crackle, you just need to follow these easy steps:

  1. Kick off by scoring the skin with a very sharp knife. Don’t penetrate all the way through to the meat.
  2. Give it a good pat (it must be super dry), then rub plenty of salt into the skin. You want to really cram it into the slices you have made so that the fat under the skin puffs up and gets crisp.
  3. Pump up the heat on your oven and roast at 240C for 30 minutes and then reduce it to 180C for the rest of the roasting period.

Pork’s a tasty but mild meat. We recommend you pair it with the following wines to complement the flavour and offset the richness of the crackling.

Raats Family Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013

You can’t have pork without Chenin, and some of the best in South Africa come from Raats Family Wines. This vintage is a lovely restrained example, with a backdrop of vibrant acidity that will cut through the fatty crackling with perfection. On the nose you have ripe pear coming through – just add apple sauce on the side and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

Paul Cluver Riesling ‘Dry Encounter’ 2014

Paul Cluver Riesling is the biggest single Riesling grower in South Africa, and this clean vintage comes from some of their oldest vines that have been producing grapes for over 25  years. Crisp and clean, it does a similar job to a lemon sorbet in cleansing the palate and brings fresh, acidic apple notes that complement pork perfectly.

Flagstone Dragon Tree 2012

If comfort food simply doesn’t cut it for you without a red, then legendary winemaker Bruce Jack’s cult red blend is the wine for this meal. The Flagstone Dragon Tree Cape Blend’s spicy and sweet undertones give it great depth. This comes from the blend of six grapes, with the Pinotage giving it the berriness that does wonders with pork.

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