Here’s a very beautiful piece of meat which spent a good five and half hours slowly sizzling away in my oven to become tender, delicious and nicely crackled. I’d seen a joint of roast pork loin on the bone in a book somewhere, I’d never cooked it before so pretty much immediately went to ask my butcher if he had any. He did, so this is what fed my friends on Sunday. This is a cut that could be slow cooked or cooked high and fast – however I love a slow cook and it had to slightly fit in with my morning trip to a car-boot sale. So in it went at 9.30am before I went out. A few hours later, I got home to the wonderful smell of roasting pork and with a big old 1860s Wedgewood serving plate to carve it onto.
For the Pork
3.8kg pork loin on the bone (this one was 10 ribs)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 carrots, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 onion, cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic, squashed
small bunch thyme
The night before you cook the pork, take it out of the fridge and make sure it has been scored nice and deeply – either ask your butcher to do this or I always go over it with a trusty stanley knife. Rub the vinegar all over the skin and place back in the fridge uncovered to let the skin dry out a bit (this will help it crackle).
The next day, preheat your oven to 110c (no fan). Place all the veg and thyme in the base of a large roasting dish and plonk the meat on top. Rub a little olive oil into the skin, sprinkle with sea salt and pour water around the meat. Place in the oven and roast for 5 hours.
Once the five hours are up, turn the heat up to about 220c and let the meat crackle away for about half an hour until it is all golden and crisp. Carve and serve.
I was lucky enough to have a couple of quince left over from a job last week and I thought they would make a nice accompaniment to the pork as an alternative to apple sauce, so here’s what I did to the funny looking fruits:
1 lemon, halved
1 1/2 tsp sugar
10 garlic cloves, squashed
8 sage leaves
25g butter, cut into small pieces
Squeeze the lemon into a large bowl of cold water. Peel the quinces and add them to the water to stop them going brown. Quarter each quince and remove the core. Then slice into thin wedges.
Season and bake for 40 minutes, turning occasionally, until just beginning to go golden. Serve with the pork.
We had all of this with some cabbage simply shredded, fried in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper, some lovely roast potatoes and last but not least some delicious crab apple jelly.