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Roast Pork with Crisp Crackling & Red Currant Gravy

Tuukka Koski

Servings: 8

Pork is especially popular in Denmark, where it’s the centerpiece of our Christmas table. Be sure to offer everyone some of the fragrant onion-orange stuffing and crunchy crackling along with their slices of juicy pork. The unusual gravy gets its deep sweet-and-savory flavor from homemade stock, the roast drippings, creamy Danish blue cheese, and red currant jelly. This dish is equally good cold the next day, on rye bread with a sprinkle of coarse salt and leftover braised cabbage.


For the pork

  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) salted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme
  • 6-1/2 lb. skin-on boneless pork loin roast, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium orange, halved and cut crosswise 1/8 inch thick

For the gravy

  • 2-1/2 cups Red Wine Chicken Stock or lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) salted butter
  • 1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. red currant jelly
  • 1 Tbs. crumbled Danish blue cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 850
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 490
  • Fat (g): 55
  • Saturated Fat (g): 24
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21
  • Cholesterol (mg): 255
  • Sodium (mg): 760
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 71


Roast the pork

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate; let cool.
  • Remove the piece of skin and fat from the top of the roast. Using a sharp knife, score the skin crosswise through to the fat at 1/2-inch intervals; set aside. Score the meat in a crosshatch pattern, cutting about 1/2 inch deep. Season generously with salt and pepper, and spread the onion-garlic mixture over the surface. Lay the orange slices on top, replace the skin and fat, and tie the roast with twine crosswise at 1-1/2-inch intervals. Generously season the skin with salt. (See the Test Kitchen post for step-by-step photos of how to prep the roast.)
  • Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145°F, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Make the gravy

  • Meanwhile, pour off and discard the fat from the baking sheet; set aside. In a 1-quart saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Pour 1 cup of the stock onto the baking sheet and stir, scraping up the browned bits. Pour through a medium-mesh sieve back into the saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  • (At this point, if the skin is not completely crisp and bubbly, untie it from the roast, put it back on the baking sheet, and bake until it is. Lay it back on top of the roast.)
  • Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the stock and simmer, whisking often, until the flour taste is gone, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cream, jelly, and blue cheese and simmer, whisking often, until the gravy is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • Remove and discard the twine (if you haven’t already) and carve the pork as shown below. Include crackling and orange-onion stuffing with each portion and serve with the gravy.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the pork for roasting up to 6 hours ahead; after roasting, let it rest for up to 1 hour.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • kzatrini | 03/29/2014

    I made the entire meal for my extended family. It has a beautiful presentation, all of the flavors blend together perfectly. Everyone loved it and said this meal raised the bar for family meals.

  • kungfukaren | 12/25/2013

    It looked gorgeous, but I thought the flavor was underwhelming. (And I had seasoned generously and upped the amount of stuffing a bit.) Presentation-wise, this was a five star meal (served with the caramel potatoes and sweet and sour cabbage), but I would probably not make any of it again.

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