Roasted leg of pork

Roasted leg of pork: Crispy deliciousness. Image: Irene Muller.

Roasted leg of pork – Crispy outside and tender inside

The ultimate pork crackling recipe with the most tender meat inside.

Roasted leg of pork

Roasted leg of pork: Crispy deliciousness. Image: Irene Muller.

There is nothing like an old-fashioned roasted leg of pork to warm up your kitchen and your soul. This recipe is perfect to prepare for special occasions. Just make sure you have enough time on your hands to get the pork just perfect.

First, you need to ensure you season and rub the pork with salt before popping it into a really hot oven for 30 minutes. This is so that the skin can start to transform into crackling. Then, turn the oven much cooler, cover the pork with tin foil and allow it to cook slowly for 4½ hours. This is how you will get the inside of the pork succulent and super-tender.

Then the last lap of this roasted leg of pork marathon is to roast it for an hour on top of the veggies. It is quite a process but absolutely worth it. One bite of the crispy crackling followed by the meltingly tender meat, and you will fall in love with this roasted leg of pork. Roasting a leg of pork slowly will guarantee the moistest, tender meat.

Roasted leg of pork recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Irene Muller Course: MainCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time






  • 2 – 3 kg leg of pork (keep the bone and skin on for best flavours)

  • ground pepper

  • sea salt

  • 3 carrots, cut in halves

  • 1 bulb garlic, keep the skin on and break them into cloves

  • 3 red onions, cut in halves

  • 3 sticks celery, halved

  • 8 bay leaves

  • 600 ml water


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Place the pork on a clean work surface. With a sharp knife make scores about a centimetre apart through the skin into the fat, but be careful not to make it too deep.
  • Rub the salt into the scores pulling the skin apart to make sure the salt is in. Make sure you brush off the excess salt and turn it over. Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper again.
  • Place the pork, skin-side up in a roasting tray and place it in the preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes, until the skin of the pork starts to puff and you can see it turning in crackling.  At this point, turn the heat down to 170°C, cover the meat with tin foil and place it back in the oven for about 4½ hours.
  • Take the meat out of the oven, remove the foil and baste the meat with the fat in the bottom of the tray.
  • Carefully lift the pork out and transfer it to a chopping board.
  • Add all the vegetables, garlic and bay leaves into the tray and stir them into the fat. Place the meat back on top of the vegetables and return it back in the oven uncovered. Roast the meat for another hour.
  • Remove the meat from the tray and place it on the serving dish and cover it with the foil you used. The meat should by this time be soft, and falling apart.
  • Make sure to remove the excess fat from the tray. Pour the remaining sauce and vegetables in a jug and sieve the sauce back in the tray working the vegetables through as much as you can. Place it back in the tray and bring it to boil. Let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring it with a wooden spoon to scrape up all those lovely tasty bits on the bottom of the tray. Add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve the pork and crackling with your lovely gravy.


Did you make this recipe?

Tag @the.south.african on Instagram and hashtag it #recipes

Like this recipe?

Follow us @thesouthafrican on Pinterest

Enjoyed this recipe as much as we did? Try out more of our recipes and put bright smiles on your family members’ faces. Click here for our arsenal of recipes waiting to be explored by you.

If you would like to submit a recipe for publication, please complete our recipe form here.