Flaeskesteg, crispy pork roast and family “hygge”

Last night we invited Bob’s family to a pre-Christmas dinner. We wanted to test out the various food items before the big day arrives. We made flaeskesteg, which is the Danish word for crispy pork roast. The roast still has the skin on when you cook it. It is supposed to get crispy so when you eat it, it crunches in your mouth. However sometimes this is not the outcome due to various reasons. Therefore we had the pre-Christmas test dinner just to make sure that we know how to prepare it correctly. It was a success!! The meat was delicious and the skin was crispy, just as it should be. Phew!!

We knew it was a success when Bob’s mom, who usually doesn’t like pork, had seconds of the pork roast.

Here is the recipe for you to try it out, maybe you will like this more than the usual turkey dinner most North American families serve during the holidays.

Crispy Pork Roast
4 people

1-1 1/2 kg (2.2-3.3 lbs) pork roast with the skin on
1 large onion
1 large apple
handful of cloves
5 bay leaves

Get your butcher to slice the skin almost all the way down to the meat, about 1/2 cm between each cut. The slices must be cut in the same direction as you are going to cut the roast when cooked. See picture.

Cut the onion and apple in large pieces and place around the edge of a roasting pan. Place the roast, skin side down in the middle, add a bay leaf and add water till rind is covered. Cook in the middle of the oven for 30 min at 180 C or 350 F.

Take out the roast and flip it so the skin side is up. Rub salt in between all the cuts and stick in cloves and bay leaves randomly in the cuts. Put the roast back in the roasting pan, this time on top of the apple and onion pieces so it does not touch the water. You can also place it on a grid above the pan. Cook at the bottom of the oven for another 1-1 1/2 hours till the core temperature is 80 C or 170 F. Then turn up the oven to 275 C or 530 F and keep an eye on the roast. This will make the skin crispy and it might go faster than you think. You can also turn on the top grill if you have that option on your oven, this will make the roast get crispy faster.

When the skin is bubbly and nice and brown/dark brown, take it out and cut slices where the skin is already cut.

Serve with cooked white potatoes, sugar coated potatoes and brown sauce made from the roast drippings.


After enjoying dinner Ayoe introduced the Danish braided stars. Each of us had to make one before dessert was served. She is tough!

So after several pedagogical instructions and step by step simple to extremely difficult folds most of us got a somewhat decent looking star done and we could finally enjoy dessert, which was aebleskiver. Aebleskiver is a round bun, similar to pancakes in taste but very different in the way you eat it. They are cooked in a special aebleskive pan and flipped several times to get an even crispy outside and moist centre. They are served with powdered sugar and jam made from blackberries, strawberries or raspberries. You can find the recipe here.

So all in all a very successful pre-Christmas dinner, and we are now ready for the real day to arrive!

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