Crackling Pig Sticks with Bramley Apple and Sage Sauce

Rob Kirby

Rob Kirby

19th November 2014
Rob Kirby

Crackling Pig Sticks with Bramley Apple and Sage Sauce

Crackling Pig Sticks with Bramley Apple and Sage Sauce by Rob Kirby

You won’t be able to keep your trotters off these tasty bites! They are great teamed with a nice beer and the Sunday papers. The homemade apple sauce is amazing – it’s well worth doubling up the recipe and keeping some in the freezer for the next time you cook roast pork.

Serves 4 | makes 10-12 strips


  • 300g pork skin (the rind from the loin, around 30cm in length and 16cm wide)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Apple and Sage Sauce:
  • 4 large cooking apples (Bramleys are ideal), peeled and cored
  • 50g butter
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves


Trim the pork rind so you have a thin, even covering, around 1cm, of fat on the underside.
Season the fat side (non-skin side) of the rind with 1/2 teaspoon of table salt.
Roll the rind up from one of the short sides, then wrap in clingfilm as tightly as possible and tie both ends to prevent it from unrolling.
Place in the freezer for 2 hours.
The rind should be frozen but not solid – if it is, leave it to defrost just enough that you can cut through it.
Preheat the oven to 190oC/ Gas mark 5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Mix the sea salt and thyme together in a bowl.
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the rind into slices 5mm thick. Carefully unroll each one and place skin side up on the lined baking tray, leaving a 1cm gap between each slice.
Once you have all the slices on the tray, season them with the sea salt and thyme and place a second sheet of baking parchment on top, followed by a second baking tray.
You will then need to place something heavy and ovenproof on top of the baking tray to hold it down (I use a cast-iron casserole dish).
Place in the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes, checking occasionally.
The pig sticks are ready when golden brown.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper. As they cool, they will crisp up more, but they can be eaten warm or cold.
Apple and Sage Sauce:
Cut the apples into 5mm cubes.
Place the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat.
When the butter begins to froth, add the apples, sugar, cider and sage. Cook gently for around 15 minutes or until the apple just starts to soften. Pour into a dish for dipping and serve warm

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