The Danish version of roast pork, ‘Flæskesteg’ is considered to be one of Denmark’s national dishes. The pork is prepared with crackling, it is also a favourite for the Danish Christmas dinner served on Christmas Eve, on the 24 December. We asked our favourite Danish chef how he would cook it.
Kell Skött is the chef known from the newly opened danish eatery in London, Snaps & Rye. The cuisine offered in his restaurant is delightfully Nordic; simple yet very well cooked and always beautifully presented. It’s a true taste of Denmark.
Preparations 2 hours and 45 minutes – 6 servings
25g Unsalted butter, melted
2kg rolled pork foreloin
A handful of sea salt
A handful of freshly ground black pepper
5 bay leaves
A couple of hours before cooking, remove the pork from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.
Start by pouring boiling water over the joint, and then dry the skin with a kitchen towel (this will help make the crackling nice and crispy when it goes in the oven). Score the skin (approximately every 7mm) with a very sharp knife. Make sure you go through the first and second layer of fat, stopping just before you get to the meat. Then rub plenty of salt into the skin, making sure it gets into the grooves that you’ve just scored. Allow the pork to rest for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius, then season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tuck a few bay leaves into the skin on top.
Place the pork onto an oven tray – use a scrunched up piece of foil to level the meat underneath if it is uneven (again this will help the skin cook evenly and produce the best crackling). Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes before removing from the oven. Cover the crackling with a layer of melted butter and then put back in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until the crackling is golden and crispy.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Serve with potatoes and red cabbage for extra authentic Danish flavour.
Kell’s perhaps most interesting tip on how to prepare and cook the pork is to pour boiling water over te joint. This was new to me, but sounds like a clever thing to do to achieve that yummy crispy crackling… Smakelig måltid!
Photo and recipe by the Danish restaurant Snaps & Rye.