Country-style roast pork

Country-style roast pork

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
8
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

Can’t get the crackling light and crisp? This was the problem faced by a chef at a pub in Berrima, New South Wales, one day when I dropped in after having spent the morning in the country. I expressed disappointment when no crackling arrived with my order of roast pork, and was told that the skin hadn’t crisped enough and was unsuitable to serve. So I asked, ‘Could the chef pop some under the grill for me?’ Within minutes the waitress returned with lovely crisp crackling. If all else fails place the skin under the grill while the meat is ‘resting’, taking care not to let it catch. It will soon ‘bubble’ and become crisp.

Here’s how to make a roast pork dinner with the all-important crispy crackling, sauce, gravy and baked plums. Whereas once it was important to cook the pork thoroughly, today it can be served medium–rare with a little pink juice for ultimate moistness. Suit yourself, however, and cook it the way your family prefers, allowing 20–30 minutes cooking time per 500 g, plus 30 minutes extra.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.5-2 pork loin leg or shoulder, (boned or left on the bone with the chops chined)
6 sage leaves
1 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
6 potatoes, peeled and halved

Method

  1. Ask your butcher to score the skin of the pork in narrow strips or a diamond pattern. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Weigh the pork and ascertain the cooking time. Pierce the flesh in several different places with a sharp pointed knife and insert the sage leaves. Place on a roasting rack in a baking tray and rub the skin all over with oil then sea salt.
  2. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden. Meanwhile, drop the potatoes into a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and score lightly with a fork.
  3. Reduce heat to 180°C, add the potatoes to the tray and roast for 45–60 minutes, turning the potatoes several times. If the loin is on the bone use a sharp knife to remove the chine bone and loosen the meat. To make carving easier, remove the crackling in sections. Carve the meat across into thick slices.
  4. Serve hot with seasonal green vegetables. Also delicious with roast pork are apple sauce, rhubarb and orange sauce, gravy or baked plums.

Apple sauce

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Make apple sauce by peeling, coring and quartering 3 golden delicious or granny smith apples. Place in a small saucepan with 1⁄2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 strip of lemon rind. Cover and cook gently to a pulp. Rub through a coarse sieve, rinse out the saucepan and return the apple purée to it. Cook fairly rapidly, stirring continuously until the purée will just drop from the spoon. Serve hot.

Rhubarb and orange sauce

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Wash and cut a bundle of rhubarb into 5 cm lengths. Place in a heavy-based saucepan with a nut of butter, the grated rind and juice from an orange and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Cover and cook on a low heat for 8–10 minutes. Leave until cool.

Gravy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. To make gravy, skim off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the baking tray. Sprinkle over 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of plain flour and cook, stirring continuously until browned. Stir in 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock and cook, scraping any bits from the bottom and sides of the pan, until gravy thickens slightly. Simmer for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Baked plums

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Wash 750 g of plums and remove stones. Make a shallow cut in each plum and place in a separate baking tray. Place 1⁄2 cup of liquid from the meat baking tray, 1⁄4 cup of red wine and 55 g of sugar in a jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the plums, cover with foil and bake until tender while the pork is cooking, for about 15 minutes.
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