Slow-roasted pork with apples and cider gravy
- December 2013
- Serves 8
- Takes 20 minutes to make, 3 hours to cook
Here’s how to serve pork at its best – with super crunchy crackling (don’t be shy with the salt), accompanied by buttery roasted apples, carrots and the best cider gravy.
- 50.5g (19.1g saturated)
- 26.4g (23.6g sugars)
- 2 tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp each chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for rubbing
- 2.5kg thick, boned-out piece of British free-range pork belly, skin scored at 1cm intervals (see Know-how)
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 150ml dry cider
- 150ml good quality chicken stock
For the butter-roasted apples
- 50g butter
- 8 small eating apples, such as cox, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
For the lemony carrots
- 750g carrots, cut into chunks
- 25g butter
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, mix the crushed peppercorns, herbs, garlic, salt and oil together to make a paste, then rub into the meaty underside of the pork. Set aside uncovered for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C/fan 210°C/gas 8. Spread the onions over the base of a large roasting tin, then put a roasting rack into the tin. Put the pork, skin-side up, on the rack, rub the skin with oil, then sprinkle with sea salt. Pour water into the tin over the onions so it comes 1cm up the sides. Cook for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3½ and roast for 2½ hours, adding a little more water if needed so the onions don’t burn.
- For the apples, melt the 50g butter in a frying pan, add the apples and fry over a high heat, turning from time to time, until nicely golden. Add the 4 tbsp sugar and the spices, season and toss together well, then tip everything into a roasting tin and roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the oven and turn the temperature back up to 230°C/fan210°C/gas 8. Put the onion tin to one side. Pop the pork back in the oven in a clean roasting tin and roast for 15-20 minutes until the skin is crisp.
- Meanwhile, cook the carrots in a pan of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain. Return to the pan with the 25g butter, 1tbsp sugar, the lemon juice, salt and some pepper and toss over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until coated, then add the parsley.
- Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest on a board for 10 minutes. For the gravy, spoon the excess fat from the onion tin and discard, then put the onion tin on the hob over a high heat. Stir in the flour, then the cider and stock and simmer until reduced. Strain and keep warm.
- Carve the slow-roasted pork, meat-side down, into slices. Serve with the apples, carrots and gravy.
This recipe is taken from The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook, published by Yeo Valley (RRP £20).
You can roast the apples and cook the carrots a day ahead, then cover and keep them in the fridge. Reheat thoroughly before serving.
To get a good crunch on your crackling, the skin needs to be scored with a very sharp knife – ask your butcher to do this for you. Also, make sure the skin is as dry as possible – and don’t be shy with the salt.
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