I almost feel like I need to start this post by saying I don’t just live on Roast dinners and Cupcakes. Really, I don’t. That said this post is about the great Roast Pork I made last Sunday. I thought it might be a good bit of inspiration if you are thinking of making a roast at home this weekend or even as a no hassle Easter Sunday lunch.
I grew up with my Gran and Grandad (yes men in that generation cooked too!) always making a Sunday roast, and they kinda made it look effortless. When I first started making them I’ll admit they weren’t the easiest thing to do but after a few attempts I started getting there. I know a lot of people can think of a roast (whether for an ordinary Sunday or a special event like Christmas or Easter) as an intimidating meal to make.There can be several different things cooking at once with different timings, and what about all that prep it takes?
They can look difficult to do, but if you get it right you can wow family and friends into thinking you must have been slaving away in the kitchen for hours when you really had your feet up on the sofa playing way too much Simpsons on your iPad, or is that just me?
The inspiration for this recipe is an amalgamation of recipes from the Sainsburys Live well for less site and BBC Good Food. I took a bit of inspiration from each and came up with my own dish and my own home-made gravy which I was really pleased with. The amounts of each ingredient I use really can be varied for your own taste, so feel free to mix it up. Leave an ingredient out or add in something new and make it your own. That’s one of the things I really love about cooking, its less science and more art and imagination. I’d really recommend checking out the Sainsburys site (I am sure you can find alternatives which do the same) as it also gives a selection of recipes to use up the left overs, one of which we made on Monday, should be coming up soon.
Ingredients ~ for 2 people with lots of pork left over
2kg boneless pork shoulder, with fat on the top for crackling
good pinch of coarse sea salt
1 head of garlic (adjust to taste)
2 parsnips – sliced
3-4 carrots – sliced into rounds
3-4 sweet potatoes quartered
2 medium onions cut into large chunks
1tsp dried thyme
oil for cooking
For the gravy
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp runny honey
1tsp wholegrain mustard
1tsp dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 220ºC, fan 200ºC, gas 7. These days most pork joints you buy will already have had the fat scored, if not you want to make a cross hatch across the fat scoring just through the top but not too deep. Pat the pork dry all over, particularly on the fat. Take the seas salt and rub into the fat.
Prepare all the veggies apart from the sweet potatoes and add them to a roasting tin along with the garlic split into cloves but with the skin still on and sprinkle the thyme on. Drizzle with a little oil to prevent it sticking, but not too much as the pork will give up a lot of fat later. Sit the Pork on top and pop in the oven for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 190ºC, fan 170ºC, gas 5 and cook for another hour.
Check the pork, it should just need another 45 minutes + some resting time. Add the chopped sweet potatoes to another roasting pan with a little olive oil and pop in the oven for 1 hour, turn half way through.
After the 45 minutes take out the pork and remove the meat to a dish or carving board, cover with a bit of foil and let rest. The potatoes now have around 15 minutes left, but keep an eye on them.
I made this in a really similar way to my roast chicken gravy. Take the roasting pan and skim off the fat from the top of the juices. Pop the pan on a medium heat on the hob and when warmed add the chicken stock and simmer gently.
Stir in the honey and mustard as well as the dried thyme. I think these are three flavours which go so well with pork. The sweetness and the spice work wonders.
Now to thicken this sauce up to a gravy gradually add some of the flour. You might find you need much more or less depending upon how much liquid you started with in the pan and how thin or thick you like your gravy. What is important is to keep stirring so you don’t end up with floury lumps in the finished gravy. Warm through for about 3 minutes or so.
And your ready to go. You already have the roasted carrots and parsnips which are now part of your gravy as vegetables along with the roast sweet potatoes. It’s almost a one pot dish and so easy to make as well. Best bit, you haven’t used too many utensils so not too much washing up either!
If you enjoyed this recipe check out some of my other roasts like;