As the nights are getting longer and the days are getting colder, a deliciously warming roast dinner is a must on a Sunday. Get stuck into this mouth-watering Pork dish this weekend. It’s a labour of love, but totally worth it!
FEEDS 4 (plus leftovers, or seconds!)
1tbsp sea salt
1 1/2cm fresh ginger, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5kg rolled pork shoulder
2 apples (I used apples from my sister’s garden, but Bramley would work too)
200ml dry cider (I used local Grainstore Cider purchased from our farm shop)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
600ml pork or vegetable stock
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C (gas mark 7)
- Mix the salt, garlic, ginger, chillies, oil and vinegar in a small food processor (a pestle and mortar will work too), to form a paste.
- Place the pork skin-side up in a large, lidded casserole dish, and rub the paste all over the top of the pork, ensuring it gets in between the scored fat.
- Roast the pork uncovered for 30 mins.
- Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 170°C (gas mark 3)
- Add the apples, cider and herbs to the casserole dish and return to the oven with the lid on for 3 hours (this will give you time to get any veggies ready)
- If you want crackling with your meal, after the 3 hours is up, remove the skin from the pork gently with a spoon and place crackling-side down on a baking tray. Liberally sprinkle with sea salt, crank the oven up to 200°C (gas mark 6) and cook the skin for half an hour, or until crispy and dark.
- Take the pork out of the casserole using two forks, and place the pork on a board. Cover with a few layers of tin foil and a couple of tea towels to keep it warm while you prepare the gravy.
- While the pork is resting and the crackling is cooking, strain the apples and juice from the casserole dish through a sieve into a jug and let it sit in the fridge or outside in the cold until the fat has separated.
- Remove the fat once it has cooled and heat through with a good quality pork or vegetable stock. If you need to thicken the gravy, put a couple of teaspoons of cornflour in a mug, and add about 6 tablespoons of cold water or milk. Work into a runny paste using a teaspoon. Add to the bubbling casserole, and stir until thickened.
- When you’re ready to eat, roughly slice the pork and serve with your delicious cider gravy.
This dish worked really well with creamy mashed potatoes, cauliflower cheese (which I top with leeks mixed with crème fraiche and a bit of seasoning before adding grated cheese and grilling, a bit naughty but very good!) and some simple steamed carrots and green beans. Oh, and a cheeky glass of Pinot Grigio!