Roast pork loin with lavender honey-glazed apricots

Roast pork loin with lavender honey-glazed apricots

In this lovely roast pork loin recipe, lavender honey-glazed apricots soak up the meat juices and are served with the pork, potatoes and a salad of radicchio and watercress, simply dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The lavender brings out the meatiness of the pork and turns this into something very special.

Roast pork loin with lavender honey-glazed apricots

For more ideas with lavender, try our lavender and lemon roulade.

  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 35 min, oven time 1 hour 50 min.

In this lovely roast pork loin recipe, lavender honey-glazed apricots soak up the meat juices and are served with the pork, potatoes and a salad of radicchio and watercress, simply dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The lavender brings out the meatiness of the pork and turns this into something very special.

For more ideas with lavender, try our lavender and lemon roulade.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
619kcals
Fat
19.6g (4.9g saturated)
Protein
60.9g
Carbohydrates
50.3g (11.7g sugars)
Fibre
6.4g
Salt
0.6g

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg boned and rolled outdoor reared or free-range pork loin
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.2kg floury potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 1 garlic bulb, top sliced off to expose the tops of the cloves
  • 1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
  • 12 ripe apricots, halved and stones removed
  • 2 tbsp lavender or other botanical clear honey
  • 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tsp culinary lavender buds (available from Castle Farm)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • Radicchio and watercress salad with extra-virgin olive oil and good quality good quality balsamic vinegar to serve
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Method

  1. Heat the oven to 260C/240C fan/gas 10 (if your oven doesn’t go this high set it to the maximum). Rub the bottom of the pork loin with a little oil, and season well with salt. Put it in the middle of a baking tray with a shallow lip and scatter a generous amount of table salt over the skin. Roast for 25-30 minutes, by which point the crackling should be completely or almost completely done. Turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and cook for a further 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the meat comes out piping hot, or a digital thermometer reads 65°C or above.
  2. While the pork skin is crackling, toss the potatoes and garlic bulb with the remaining olive oil and thyme in your largest baking tray and season well with salt. Once the oven temperature comes down, put them in the oven underneath the pork to roast.
  3. When the pork has 25 minutes left, remove the tin from the oven, add the apricots and gently toss them in the roasting juices around the pork. Drizzle the apricots with honey, scatter with salt, then add the rosemary sprigs and lavender and return the tin to the oven for the final 20 minutes of cooking. Once the pork is cooked, the apricots should be soft but still with some shape. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Toss the potatoes in the tray, remove the garlic bulb and move the potatoes up to the top shelf of the oven. Increase the temperature to 200C/ 180C/ gas 6 and continue cooking for around 20 minutes more until they’re really golden and crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, carefully transfer the apricots to a plate and put the pork on a board to rest. Cover the apricots with tin foil to keep warm, then scrape all the sticky juices and caramelised meaty bits from the baking tray into a pan with the rosemary. Add the brandy and chicken stock, then squeeze the garlic from the skins and add to the pan, mashing with a wooden spoon. Put the pan on the hob, bring to a simmer and bubble rapidly for around 5-6 minutes, until the juices are quite syrupy. Strain it if you want it to look neat or leave the garlic and rosemary sprigs in there. Keep warm, covered, over a low heat, while the potatoes finish cooking.
  6. Once the pork has rested and the potatoes are crisp, carve the meat and arrange on a platter with the apricots. Spoon a little of the sauce over the apricots, then put the rest in a jug on the table for people to pour over their meat. Serve the pork, apricots, potatoes and sauce with a radicchio and watercress salad, simply dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Nutrition

Calories
619kcals
Fat
19.6g (4.9g saturated)
Protein
60.9g
Carbohydrates
50.3g (11.7g sugars)
Fibre
6.4g
Salt
0.6g

delicious. tips

  1. For perfect crackling, buy outdoor reared or free-range pork, ask the butcher to score it properly, then leave it overnight, uncovered in the fridge so the skin dries out properly.

  2. Almost all lavender can be used in the kitchen as long as it’s been grown without the use of chemicals. The most common are the group known as the English lavenders – lavandula angustifola, to give them their proper name. These are probably the first ones you think of when you picture lavender plants: long grey-green stems with slender flower heads on top.

    You can buy culinary lavender buds, but they’re easy to make at home if you have the plants in your garden. Snip the stems at the height of their bloom, tie together and hang upside down inside for a week or two until dried out, then carefully pull off the buds and store in airtight jars. You can use the fresh heads straight off the plants in salads or to decorate cakes and drinks, but drying them gives a more fragrant flavour and a better texture to eat. If you’re lucky enough to be able to dry your own that’s great, but if not it’s easy to get your hands on these lavender products

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By

Rebecca Woollard

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