Almond and herb stuffed leg of pork with confit potatoes, apples and madeira
- March 2016
- Serves 8 with leftover pork
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 2 hours 10-45 min
A spectacular all-in-one roast with some of the most heavenly confit potatoes you’ll ever eat.
- 27.1g (12.3g saturated)
- 38.5g (7.8g sugars)
- 3.5kg British free-range pork leg, boned, rolled and tied
- 1.5kg red skinned potatoes, very finely sliced
- 4 British eating apples, finely sliced
- A few fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves separated
- 100g unsalted butter
- 100ml madeira
For the stuffing
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 40g fresh or dried breadcrumbs
- 40g flaked toasted almonds, quite finely chopped
- Good splash madeira (enough to make the stuffing sticky)
- 2 heaped tbsp finely chopped mixed fresh herbs – we used a mix of rosemary, thyme and tarragon
You’ll also need…
- Digital probe thermometer
- To make the stuffing, heat a frying pan and melt the 50g butter. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 8-9 minutes until the onion has softened and taken on a little colour. Don’t worry if it catches and browns a bit. Once softened, remove to a mixing bowl, stir in the rest of the stuffing ingredients, season well and allow to cool completely. Heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/gas 8.
- Put the pork leg on a chopping board with the thickest part facing you. Although the meat is rolled, there should still be a gap through the middle of it that you can put your fingers into. Using a spoon to help, ease the stuffing into the hole, then use your fingers to push it as far down as you can. Keep going until all the stuffing is used up – if there’s any left over, you can roll it into balls and bake it on top of the potatoes. Season the pork well with sea salt, put in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½.
- While the pork is in the oven, toss the potatoes and apples together and lay in your biggest roasting tin (we used one that spans the whole width of the oven). Tuck in the thyme sprigs and garlic cloves here and there. Heat the 100g butter with the 100ml madeira in a pan until it boils, boil for a minute, then pour over the potatoes and apples. Season well.
- Once the pork has cooked for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and put it on top of the potatoes in the middle of the roasting tin (reserve the pork roasting tin for later). Put the tin with the pork, potatoes and apples on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 1½-2 hours until the pork reads 60-65°C when tested in the thickest part with a digital thermometer. Check how it’s getting on after 1½ hours – depending on the shape of the joint, it might be done.
- Once the pork has reached its temperature, remove the tin from the oven, transfer the joint back to the original roasting tin and turn up the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 8. Set the potatoes and apples aside, uncovered. Put a piece of foil over the meat of the pork, leaving the skin exposed, then return it to the oven for 15-20 minutes to crackle the skin. Once it’s crackled, remove the pork and set it aside to rest for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, turn the oven back down to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½ and put the potatoes and apples back in to warm up. Carve the rested pork and serve with the confit potatoes and apples.
Ask your butcher to bone, roll and tie the pork leg but to leave the knuckle bone in.
Leftover pork makes a wonderful sandwich the next day, with mustard and any leftover fennel or rocket.
Stuff the pork with the stuffing 24 hours ahead. For the best crackling, leave the pork in the fridge overnight (away from any raw food), skin-side up, uncovered, to dry out the skin.
Slice the potatoes and apples up to 2-3 hours in advance. Leave them soaking in lightly salted water somewhere cool, but not the fridge.
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