This was a roast I made a few weeks ago now. It was pretty simple and felt very comforting to eat – a culinary hug!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1kg pork loin
- Potatoes – as much as you can eat
- 4 or 5 leaves of kale
- 500ml good quality cider
- 1 tablespoon of plain flour
- 2 onions, red or white is fine
- 2 knobs of butter
- 4 tablespoons of duck fat
- 3 or 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 or 4 bay leaves
- 10 to 12 sage leaves
- 4 gloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
- Sea salt and black pepper
Set the scene
- Pre heat the oven to 200C
- You will need two trays, one to roast the pork and one for the potatoes
- Once the meat and potatoes are cooking, you will need a pan of boiling water for the kale and a small sauce pan to finish the sauce.
Prep the meat
To really get the flavour of the herbs into the pork I like to cut the fat and rind away from the meat so the herbs have direct contact. Cut along the line of fat to butterfly the loin out but don’t cut it off entirely; leave the last edge attached so you can easily replace the fat and rind back over the meat to enclose the herbs.
Chop the garlic finely and rub over the loin meat. Pick the leaves from 2 of the rosemary sprigs, and all the sage leaves, and lay all over the loin on top of the garlic.
Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, then role the fat and rind back up over the meat and herbs.
Sit the rolled loin on top of two onions; cut in half and place flat side down in the roasting tray, these will act as a trivet so the meat isn’t sat in the cider and ensures it roasts rather that stews. Plus the onions add flavour to the juices, which can only be a good thing!
Add the rest of rosemary and all the bay leaves along with the garlic to the tray around the pork. Add a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns. Pour in the cider and sprinkle the pork with sea salt.
Place the pork in the oven and roast at 200C for 30 mins per 500g. As the eye of the meat is lean you don’t want to overlook this so I think this timing is right but it’s always good to check with a thermometer if you are unsure.
My thoughts on roast potatoes are this; make more than what you think you need, have more smaller roasties than fewer large ones and wherever possibly use hot duck fat. Lets start with the cut, to get the most crunch we need to make the most surface area, so I follow Nigella Lawson’s stance and cut my potatoes into three pieces using two cuts in the shape of a triangle. The result is that you have pieces of potatoes with lots of sides ready to get crispy and crunchy.
Heat a tray in the oven with the duck fat for a 10 mins. Please the potatoes gently into the hot fat, spoon the fat over the potatoes and pop back in the oven for approximately 40 mins depending on your oven and size of potatoes. When they are ready they should be a deep golden brown with a glassy finish and fluffy on the inside. If you can feel the crunch and a knife goes through without resistance.
To crisp the skin on the pork, wack the oven up to 220C for 10 to 15 mins right at the end. Remove the pork from the oven and sieve all the meaty, herby juices into a small sauce pan. Squeeze the soft garlic into the gravy, whisk in the flour and butter while over a medium heat for 2 mins until the sauce is thickened and glossy.
Pull the kale leaves from the stalks and plunge into the boiling water, this will only take 3 mins so make sure everything is ready to go. Drain and add a small knob of butter, season.
The end – plate up and enjoy!
Tip: if your skin isn’t crisping up but your pork is ready; take it out of the oven, slide a knife between the skin and meat and the skin should ease away. Wrap the meat up in foil and allow it to rest. Place the skin back in the oven on a baking tray to get lovely and crunchy.
#roast #homecooking #pork #comfortfood