Pork Shoulder is a cheap and delicious cut: this piece here cost me a mere £4, and fed 3 happily. Cooking it slowly ensures the meat is meltingly tender, and you get some good crackling too: the best of both worlds. It may seem a little wintery, but there’s already a nip of autumn in the air: the first apples (Discovery) are ready, and my new sage plant is prospering (though it is surely doomed, I have yet to keep a plant alive for longer than a week, one of the perils of never staying in one place for long) and so this seemed just the thing for a rainy Sunday lunch.
1 pork shoulder joint, rolled.
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 220. Unroll the joint, stuff the cavity with the prunes, salt and pepper and the rosemary. Roll it back up and secure with string. Score the top skin. Rub salt into the skin and place in a roasting tray. Roast for half an hour. Take out of the oven, baste, remove most of the fat from the pan and cover the whole thing tightly with tin foil. Turn the oven down to 160 and roast for a further 5 hours. Remove from the oven and rest the meat on a serving dish under tin foil. If the crackling is not crisp, place the joint under the grill for a few minutes until it crisps and puffs up.
If you like, use the roasting juices to make a light gravy: add 1 tablespoon of flour to the roasting dish and fry over a medium heat for a minute. Add 200 ml cider and boil for a few minutes. Add 1 pint of stock, a tsp of apple jelly and salt and pepper. Simmer. Serve in a warm jug alongside.
350g Chantenay Carrots
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley/chervil
Place the carrots in a wide pan with enough water just to cover. Add the sugar, salt and butter. Simmer (without a lid) until the water has evaporated and the carrots are glazed with butter and sugar. Season with pepper (and more salt if necessary) and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
A delicious and simple accompaniment to chicken, duck, pheasant or pork, and a welcome change from the potato. Morbidly ugly, but good.
Saute 3 leeks (sliced) in the fat from the roast, or butter, until soft (20 min)
Add 60g of puy lentils per person, and top with boiling water, to ratio 1:2 lentils to water. Simmer until the lentils are soft (about 30 mins), then season with salt and pepper.
Fried Apples and Sage
Fry slices of apple in a little butter with a sprinkle of brown sugar. Once golden brown sprinkle with chopped sage and serve alongside the pork.