Pork joints are most traditionally roasted with the, scored, skin on, merely rubbed with salt (Francatelli 1852, etc)
Roast Pork with Crackling
Original Receipt in Francatelli 1846;
637 ROAST LEG OF PORK A L ANGLAISE
Procure a leg of fresh dairy fed pork make a large incision just below the knuckle between the skin and meat for the purpose of introducing the stuffing of sage and onion which must be secured by sewing it up with small twine, then with a sharp pointed knife score it all over in the following manner; with the left hand hold the pork firmly and with a very sharp knife score the skin across in parallel lines a quarter of an inch apart then spit the joint and roast it for about two hours and a half when done dish it up pour a rich brown gravy under it and send to table with apple sauce. The stuffing for the pork should be thus prepared chop a dozen sage leaves and six large onions, boil these in water for three minutes, and after having drained them on a sieve, put them into a stewpan with pepper and salt and a pat of butter, set the stuffing to simmer gently over a very slow fire for ten minutes, and then use it as directed above.
Mrs.B gives the following; "
HOW ROAST PIG WAS DISCOVERED.- Charles Lamb, who, in the early part of this century, delighted the reading public by his quaint prose sketches, written under the title of "Essays of Elia," has, in his own quiet humorous way, devoted one paper to the subject of Roast Pig, and more especially to that luxurious and toothsome dainty known as "CRACKLING;" and shows, in a manner peculiarly his own, how crackling first came into the world.
According to this erudite authority, man in the golden age, or at all events the primitive age, eat his pork and bacon raw, as, indeed, he did his beef and mutton; unless, as Hudibras tells us, he was an epicure, when he used to make a saddle of his saddle of mutton, and after spreading it on his horse's back, and riding on it for a few hours till thoroughly warmed, he sat down to the luxury of a dish cooked to a turn. At the epoch of the story, however, a citizen of some Scythian community had the misfortune to have his hut, or that portion of it containing his live stock of pigs, burnt down. In going over the debris on the following day, and picking out all the available salvage, the proprietor touched something unusually or unexpectedly hot, which caused him to shake his hand with great energy, and clap the tips of his suffering fingers to his mouth. The act was simple and natural, but the result was wonderful. He rolled his eyes in ecstatic pleasure, his frame distended, and, conscious of a celestial odour, his nostrils widened, and, while drawing in deep inspirations of the ravishing perfume, he sucked his fingers with a gusto he had never, in his most hungry moments, conceived. Clearing away the rubbish from beneath him, he at last brought to view the carcase of one of his pigs, roasted to death . Stooping down to examine this curious object, and touching its body, a fragment of the burnt skin was detached, which, with a sort of superstitious dread, he at length, and in a spirit of philosophical inquiry, put into his mouth. Ye gods! the felicity he then enjoyed, no pen can chronicle! Then it was that he- the world- first tasted crackling . Like a miser with his gold, the Scythian hid his treasure from the prying eyes of the world, and feasted, in secret, more sumptuously than the gods. When he had eaten up all his pig, the poor man fell into a melancholy; he refused the most tempting steak, though cooked on the horse's back, and turned every half-hour after his own favourite recipe; he fell, in fact, from his appetite, and was reduced to a shadow, till, unable longer to endure the torments of memory he hourly suffered, he rose one night and secretly set fire to his hut, and once more was restored to flesh and manhood. Finding it impossible to live in future without roast-pig, he set fire to his house every time his larder became empty; till at last his neighbours, scandalized by the frequency of these incendiary acts, brought his conduct before the supreme council of the nation. To avert the penalty that awaited him, he brought his judges to the smouldering ruins, and discovering the secret, invited them to eat; which having done, with tears of gratitude, the august synod embraced him, and, with an overflowing feeling of ecstasy, dedicated a statue to the memory of the man who first instituted roast pork."
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