Fellow blogger and tweeter, Ben, from Mutterings of a Fool was telling me all about the fabulous slow-roasted pork he was going to cook for his family over Christmas, so of course I persuaded him to give us the recipe (and take photos). Over to Ben, then. And no dribbling on the keyboard, now.
When cooking for a large number of people or just for a stress free Sunday lunch I often make use of either the slow cooker or slow roasting. It means you don’t have to worry about the meat being cooked and you can stretch the cooking time if needed without it resulting in a dried out joint.
One of my very favourite recipes is 24 hour slow roast pork, I think the recipe that this is based on originally came from a Waitrose magazine 7 or 8 years ago and it has been a staple of our cooking ever since. The great thing about it is that you prepare well in advance of the meal and it takes minimal effort during the cooking time. Be warned though, your house will be filled with the smell of pork cooking for 24 hours making you almost permanently hungry!
You can adapt this recipe as you see fit with other herbs etc, it’s also good with red chillies deseeded and thinly sliced; a lovely warm heat after being roasted. I would imagine it would also work well with a lamb joint.
Ingredients (serves ~8 people)
3kg shoulder of pork
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin slivers
You’ll need a joint of either shoulder or leg of pork which has been boned and rolled, I used a 3kg shoulder joint and it served 7 adults with leftovers for sandwiches etc. Using anything smaller than 2kg won’t work as well as it will most likely begin to dry out. Ask the butcher to score the fat. If he hasn’t already done so, you can do this yourself but much easier if he does it before tying the joint up.
24 hours before you want to eat (or thereabouts it doesn’t need to be exact, a few hours less is fine also) pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C and place the joint of pork in a large baking tray.
Dry the rind with kitchen roll, this helps to get nice crunchy crackling. Once dry rub in some olive oil to cover it all over and season with salt and pepper.
Slice up the lemon and garlic and break the rosemary into smaller pieces.
Score the meaty side of the pork and push in some of the lemon, garlic and rosemary. Try to get some under the rind also as this will help get the flavour into the meat. Also push some into the cuts in the fat, try to get some into all areas of the meat, but it really doesn’t need to be precise.
Put the joint into the preheated oven with the fat side up and roast for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 110 degrees C and be brave and leave it for 24 hours!
Basting every few hours will help; you’ll be amazed how much fat comes out. These juices can be later added to your gravy or to roast your potatoes.
After 24 hours take the meat out of the oven and rest for 30-40 minutes covered in foil, the meat will stay plenty hot enough. This is the ideal time to turn the oven up and cook your roast potatoes.
Once you’re ready to serve pull the crackling off and break into smaller pieces, I normally put this in a small pile in the corner of the serving dish for the meat. The meat wont carve into slices, but rather should fall apart into strips/chunks and you can just tease it apart with a knife and fork.
Serve with whatever vegetables you wish; my favourites are celeriac and potato mash, cabbage, cumin and orange carrots (Hugh double barreled recipe) and creamed parsnip. The good lady always insists on Yorkshire puddings as well!