Let’s face it the weather hasn’t been great but one of the advantages of the autumn season is we can start enjoying our Sunday roasts again. Pork is one of the lighter ones, so try this recipe to get it just right.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours
Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes - 3 hours 20 minutes, plus resting
1.5-2kg joint of pork, either leg, loin or shoulder
Olive oil, for rubbing
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the apple sauce
500g Bramley cooking apples
3 tbsp caster sugar
For the gravy
2 tsp plain flour
450ml pork or vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place the pork in a roasting tin, pat its skin with kitchen paper and leave for 30 minutes for the skin to dry. Check that the skin is evenly scored, adding more using a very sharp knife, if needed.
2. Lightly rub or brush the skin with oil and sprinkle with a thin, even layer of salt and a little pepper. Rub the seasoning into the scored skin. Calculate the cooking time, 35 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 35 minutes. Roast for the calculated time.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Peel and cut the apples into quarters, place in a pan with 3 tbsp cold water. Bring to the boil then reduce to medium, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the apples are soft and pulpy.
4. Remove from the heat, beat with a wooden spoon until the apples are smooth, mix in the butter and sugar. Return the pan to the heat and cook gently, stirring until it thickens slightly, then spoon into a serving bowl.
5. Transfer the cooked pork onto a serving plate or board. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes, while the gravy is made. Spoon off as much surface fat from the pan juices as you can. Place the roasting tin on the hob and reheat the juices, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Then cook gently for 2 minutes, before gradually adding the stock, stirring all the time until it thickens. Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and season if necessary.
6. Using a sharp carving knife remove the crackling from the joint and place on a board and cut into pieces. Then thinly slice the pork and serve each portion with some crackling, gravy and a generous spoonful of apple sauce.
For successful crackling, choose an even-shaped joint with a good layer of fat beneath the rind.
Make sure that the rind is dry before rubbing with salt.
The joint must be placed in a hot oven. Crackling is formed as the fat gets hot and melts, pushing up through the rind. Make sure you allow 20-30 minutes to preheat the oven before adding the meat.
Resting the meat before carving gives it time to relax, which will make carving easier and give you moist, tender results.
The apple sauce can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the fridge in a covered container.
If you do not get even crackling by the end of the cooking time, remove the crackling from the joint using a large, sharp knife and place on a baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C, gas mark 7 and return the crackling to the oven for a further 15 minutes while the meat is resting.