The rind is removed and baked in the oven separate to the pork. Enjoy the ease of using a slow cooker, without sacrificing the traditional treat of pork, crackling and apple sauce.
- Step 1
Remove and discard excess fat from reserved rind. Score rind at 2.5cm intervals. Place rind, top-side up, on a wire rack set over a baking tray. Refrigerate until needed (see Notes). Tie up pork with kitchen string at 5cm intervals.
- Step 2
Heat 1/2 the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pork. Cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to the bowl of a 5.5-litre slow cooker.
- Step 3
Reduce heat to medium. Heat 1/2 the remaining oil in pan. Add eschalot. Cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add sage and garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Combine cider, stock and maple syrup. Add to slow cooker. Cover with lid. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours), adding apple halfway through cooking time.
- Step 4
Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. Rub rind with remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes until golden and crisp. Cool. Cut into pieces. Set aside.
- Step 5
Transfer pork to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Transfer apple and 1/4 cup cooking liquid to a food processor. Add sugar and vinegar. Process until roughly chopped.
- Step 6
Remove and discard string from pork. Slice. Serve with crackling and apple sauce, and sprinkle with sage.