“Flæskesteg” is a traditional Danish dish and a compulsory element on Christmas Eve, or throughout various lunches leading up to the festivities. The cut of the pig derives from either the neck or back. It is imperative you get a cut with the skin on. I suggest a piece of about 1.5- 2 kilos. There are multiple ways of cooking this fella, but I am opting for the traditional oven roast. Ask your butcher to leave the skin on, it is very important!
Let’s get started…
Insert some small cuts in the skin. About one centimeter between them. However, depending on the thickness do not cut down to the meat actual meat. Only the skin and (white part) fat!
I just added the laurel leaves to show how “deep” you should cut. You will also notice I cut way too deep in some places, which will leave the gaps too open. It looks ugly because it will shrink upon getting cooked leaving areas with no pork crackers. It is morally wrong! 🙂
PREHEAT the OVEN to 200 Degrees!
Then you fill the roasting tin with a little water, about 1 cm high, add whole peppercorns and some laurel leaves.
Then, place the piece of meat with the skin side down, like in the picture below.
When the oven has reached its optimal heat of 200 degrees, then, it is ready to go in for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes you will have to take it out of the oven. Turn around the meat and dry the surface with a piece of kitchen roll, followed by a generously robbing with salt.
Be careful, it is hot, but you want the let the salt penetrate the incisions. This is what makes this dish pop- because all the skin gets immensely dry and crunchy.
Place it back into the oven and let it cook for about 40-45 minutes more at 200 degrees.
When the cooking time is over simply remove the tray from the oven and remove the meat from the liquid. Dry the top with a paper towel, and leave it to rest for about 25 minutes on a cutting board. This is an important step, as you want your meat moist and succulent.
Carve the meat into thin pieces. Aim for about 1cm. It is possible to remove the crispy part before slicing, but make sure no one eats these crackers before you serve. Again, it is vital you got a sharp knife!
I recommend a brown sauce; where you use the fat from the tray and create a reduction sauce. Serve with fresh potatoes and vegetables. I usually make a batch of sweet gherkins and beetroots to go with this.
In so far you have any left-overs, do NOT discard this! This tastes absolutely amazing as a cold cut piece of meat as well. Use it in a sandwich with remoulade.