I love food that is minimum effort and maximum satisfaction and here’s something that certainly delivers on both accounts. James has three extraordinary American friends who happen to be brothers and in a band called Pontiak, they (plus driver and friend) were staying on various patches of our floor a few weeks ago mid European tour. We wanted to go to their show, but also wanted to give them a good home-cooked, non-service station /non-travelodge, post-gig meal. We also had a friend’s birthday drinks to go to before…so…very little time to cook. This is what we did, something that relishes hours in the oven, needs very little attention and comes out as good as anything I could have slaved for hours over. The quality of the meat is key and this shoulder came from the lovely Ginger Pig at Greensmiths on Lower Marsh, it was incredibly good value and once cooked was deliciously tasty and tender.
1 x 2.5kg pork shoulder, scored
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons table salt
10 sprigs thyme
10 cloves garlic, squashed
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 110c. Take the pork out of the fridge and rub the cider vinegar and table salt into the skin and down the cracks where it has been scored. Leave it out of the fridge for an hour or so to give the skin a chance to dry out a little.
Place the thyme, garlic and onions in the base of a large roasting pan and sit the pork on top. Rub it with the olive oil and sprinkle over the salt. Pour a couple of centimetres of water into the base of the dish and put it into the oven for 9 and a half hours (or until it’s starting to fall away from the bone) – go and do whatever you have to and when you come back the house will smell incredible.
Once the nine hours are up and you’re almost ready to eat, whack the heat up to about 230c and watch it crackle, which should take about 20mins to half an hour. We served it with some roasted beetroot and squash, potatoes and a falgeolet bean and spinach salad and also my crab apple jelly.