Crackling pork loin with apricot, sherry and hazelnut stuffing
- April 2014
- Serves 10
- Hands-on time 25 min, oven time 2 hours, plus resting
Looking for the perfect roast pork for Easter Sunday? This stuffed, rolled pork loin with crunchy crackling makes a stunning Easter centrepiece.
We’ve got more Easter roast inspiration, plus seasonal spring suggestions for Easter starters, desserts and trimmings, in our Easter lunch collection.
- 26.2g (8.6g saturated)
- 6.4g (4g sugars)
- 85g dried apricots, finely sliced
- 75ml palo cortado or oloroso sherry
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 50g shelled hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 50g crustless sourdough bread, whizzed into breadcrumbs
- 12-15 fresh sage leaves, finely sliced
- Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2kg British free-range skin-on pork loin, scored for crackling (see tips)
1. Put the apricots in a saucepan with the sherry and heat to steaming. Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes.
2. Heat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Drain the apricots, reserving the sherry, then transfer to a medium bowl and mix with the garlic, chilli, hazelnuts, sourdough crumbs and herbs. Season well, then pour in enough of the reserved sherry to make the stuffing sticky (we used it all, but it depends on the bread). Taste and season, then leave to cool.
3. Remove any string from the pork loin and lift off the skin (it should come away in one piece). Season the meat all over, then cover the top with the stuffing, packing it down tightly. Put the skin on top and tie up again tightly with string (see our How to tie a rolled pork loin). Rub a generous amount of salt into the skin, then transfer to a shallow roasting tin (see tips).
4. Roast for 25 minutes, then turn down the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and cook for 1-1¼ hours or until the meat is 60-65°C in the centre when you push in a digital thermometer. Any exposed stuffing will blacken, but if it’s burning badly at the ends, press a double piece of foil onto each end to protect it.
5. Turn the oven up as high as it will go and cook the pork until the skin is golden and crisp. Remove and leave to rest on a carving board for 20 minutes.
6. To serve, carefully cut through the crackling along the score lines with kitchen scissors, then use the slits as a guide to slice down through the meat.
Look for slow-reared pork loin with a good amount of fat under the skin. The fat will keep the meat moist and intensify its flavour.
For really good crackling, chill the stuffed pork joint in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to help dry the skin.
Ask your butcher to score the skin with thin lines, so it’s easier to slice the cooked meat neatly.
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