Cheshire reared pork joint for roasting, choose your size
Recipe Suggestion: Slow-roasted Pork Shoulder with leeks, apricots & thyme
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 3 hours, plus soaking
Serves: 6 – 8
2½ kg/5lb 8oz piece boned and rolled Pork shoulder – free-range or rare breed is best
1 celery stick, cut into chunks
1 onion, thickly sliced
1 carrot, thickly sliced
150ml white wine or medium-dry cider
500ml strong-flavoured chicken or pork stock
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter
For the stuffing:
2 leek, cleaned well and shredded
85g chopped dried apricot, soaked for 2 hrs in boiling water to cover, then drained
1 tsp chopped thyme leaf
140g fresh coarse breadcrumb
- A few hours before you want to cook the pork, remove it from the fridge and dry the skin thoroughly. Leave unwrapped in a cool place to slowly come to room temperature while you make the stuffing.
- Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it begins to sizzle, add the leeks and cook until they are soft and most of their liquid has evaporated. Stir in the apricots and thyme, season well and transfer to a bowl to cool. When the mixture is cold, stir in the breadcrumbs. Taste and season again if required.
- When you are ready to cook the pork, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Spoon the stuffing into the pocket your butcher has left for you. Wipe any stuffing from the skin, put the pork in a roasting tin and season the skin well with salt. Put the celery, onion and carrot in the tin around the pork, place in the oven and cook for 30 mins.
- Reduce heat to 140C/120C fan/ gas 1 and cook the pork for a further 2 hrs 30 mins. Transfer the pork to a warm serving dish to rest while you finish the gravy.
- Tip out any fat from the roasting tin and reserve for another dish. Put the roasting tin on a medium heat, add the white wine or cider and, using a wooden spatula, scrape the caramelised juices from the bottom of the pan and allow them to dissolve. Let the juices reduce by half.
- Add the stock and simmer for 5 mins. Add the flour and butter, mashed together, and whisk them into the gravy. Taste for seasoning, then strain into a warmed jug. If your pork skin has not crackled, put under a hot grill for a few mins, turning every 30 secs or so, until bubbled and crackling.