How do you make the best pork crackling?
"Crackling is just a thing of beauty. It's potentially one of the most delicious parts of the roast, so to get good crackling is really important. I have a few tips that I would recommend if you're looking to make the best crackling you can.
"Firstly, the pork that you buy from the supermarket (vac-packed) often doesn't get crispy enough or make the best crackling as you need to look after it quite well in the preparation and the cooking to actually achieve that. If you can go to a butcher, get some rare breed pork and look for the skin that's the thickest. The thickest, driest looking skin will give you the lightest, crispiest roast pork crackling, which sounds counter intuitive but that's how it works. Unfortunately, any wet, flabby, thin skin that comes from the fast-bred pigs for supermarkets just doesn't give good crackling.
"If you can only get vac-packed pork, I would recommend taking it out of the vac-pack and leaving it uncovered in the fridge overnight (I would do this to the butcher pork too), so it can dry out, allowing it to crisp-up.
"For cooking, if you have a steam or steam-combination oven you can roast it normally with lots of steam, and what that does is it softens the skin, renders out the fat and allows it to become crispy. That high temperature will crisp it up, then I would finish it off under the grill.
"A second method is that you can put the skin into a hot pan with oil, and once it's dried and the skin has began to puff up, go crispy and turn a light golden brown, you can transfer it to the oven and begin the roasting, and that will cook it through properly whilst keeping that delicious crispiness."
What food can I eat to give me energy after being up all night with my baby girl?
"Now, I know how you feel- my young son Rex is very good at keeping me awake. It's a very difficult question. You could eat slow-release carbohydrates to give you energy throughout the day, or you could bake things with oats which are also a great source of energy. Things with sugar are also a great idea, although I'd recommend fruits rather than processed sugars as these will only make you feel great for a short period of time. For a little burst in the morning, I'd always recommend a good coffee!"