Quick slow-roasted pork

I wanted to make some slow-roasted pork. Quick google. Ah, Nigella! Read recipe. Recipe tells me I should have put pork in oven this time… yesterday.

Life is too short for slow-roasted pork that takes 24 hours to cook. Even Jamie’s 6 hour slow roast is pushing it a bit, frankly. So here’s how I took a recipe from Jamie’s Home and turned it into quick slow-roasted pork, with crispy crackling and succulent pork that falls apart as you pull it:

  • Shoulder of pork, fat ready-scored
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 onions
  • 2 fat bulbs of garlic
  • splash of apple juice
  • a few fennel seeds
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • sprig of fresh rosemary, finely-chopped
  • 2 bay leaves

Put the oven on to 150 C.

In a pestle & mortar, grind the fennel seeds, salt and rosemary.

Rub sea salt into the scores in the rind of your pork. Heat a splash of olive oil in a roasting tray big enough for your meat on the top of the stove. Place your meat fat-side down and fry until the fat starts bubbling up and going golden. While it’s doing this, rub the salt / fennel / rosemary mix into the meaty side.

Thickly chop the onions and celery. Remove the meat from the roasting tray, then make a bed for it in the tray with the onions, celery, unpeeled garlic cloves, bay leaves. Place the meat on top and seal tightly with tin foil. Put in the cool oven. After about an hour, check on it to make sure there’s plenty of juice. If it seems like it’s drying out, add some apple juice or water. It should look something like this:

slow-rost pork - mid-way through cooking

Then pop it back in the oven for another hour or two – you’ll need to check on it from time to time to see that it’s not burning, and that the meat is cooked. It should be juicy and fall part when you pull it with two forks.

When it’s cooked, whack the oven up hot. Take the tray out, and remove the crackling. Set the meat aside for later. Put the rind in its own small roasting tray and season again with salt and pepper. Cook in a hot oven for 30 mins or so. Remove, dry on paper towels and munch with a glass cider, while you wait for your roast vegetables to cook in the hot oven.

pork crackling

Make gravy with the juices & veg left in the main roasting tray. Put it on the stove, sieve some plain flour in and stir in with a whisk until it thickens a bit. Gradually add half a litre of hot vegetable stock and a splash of soy sauce. Scrape all the bits off the pan and sieve into a gravy jug when nice and thick. Delicious.

We had this with roasted potatoes, parsnips and butternut squash, plus sauce made with home-grown apples simmered with a little butter, sugar, water and a nip of Somerset cider brandy. The aroma was heady and heavenly.


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