I think of roast pork as a real treat. It’s very important to buy good-quality meat from a pig that has moved around freely and has had a good life and, as that will cost you money, it is for special occasions only. I cook this for small dinner parties, and I love it when people are surprised at how wonderful it tastes. Ask your butcher to score the skin in a harlequin pattern.
- 1 lemon
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 3kg/6lb 10oz pork sirloin (free range or organic), bone in and skin scored
- 10 cloves
- 4 bay leaves
- 400ml/1 ¾ cups water
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the vegetables
- 1kg/2lb 3oz medium potatoes, unpeeled
- 3 onions, unpeeled
- 4 Tbsp lovage leaves
- 4 Tbsp parsley leaves
- Apple Relish (see below)
- Sweet and Sour Cucumber (see below)
- Brussels Sprouts, Chilli and Oranges (see page 40)
Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Slice the lemon and cut the garlic in half. Mix the lemon, garlic and thyme together and place in a roasting tin. Rub the pork with salt and pepper and place on top. Push the cloves and bay leaves into the scored skin incisions and pour half the water into the tin. Roast for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the potatoes and onions. Halve the potatoes and onions, leaving the skin on. Take the roasting tin out of the oven and place the potatoes and onions around the pork, mixing the fat that has run off the pork into the vegetables. Pour in the remaining water and roast for a further 45–50 minutes. Check the internal temperature. I always use a thermometer, which should read around 62°C/143°F at the thickest point of the roast; continue roasting if it has not reached that temperature. Leave to rest out of the oven for about 15 minutes before carving, keeping the vegetables warm.
Arrange the pork in slices on one big platter, with bones on the side, the crackling on top and the potatoes and onions alongside. Serve with the Apple Relish, Sweet and Sour Cucumber and Brussels Sprouts, Chilli and Oranges. Velbekomme!
- 2kg/4lb 6oz apples, unpeeled
- 200g/1 cup caster (granulated) sugar
- 100ml/ ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 small red chillies
- 10 cardamom pods
- 8 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
Method: Cut the apples into cubes, with the skin on. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator.
SWEET AND SOUR CUCUMBER
- 250ml/1 cup clear vinegar (5%)
- 50ml/ ¼ cup water
- 125g/⅔ cup caster (granulated) sugar
- 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
- Pinch of salt
Method: Whisk together the vinegar, water and sugar for the sweet and sour cucumber, and when all the sugar has dissolved add the cucumber slices and salt and set aside, folding gently now and then.