Pork roasted in cider

Serves: 4 very generously
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 10.26.15Ingredients:

2.5kg (approx. 5½lb) shoulder pork, skin scored
2 tsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp Maldon salt
4 Braeburn apples, halved
a good handful sage leaves
200ml (7fl oz) medium dry cider

For the gravy:

1 tbsp oil from the roasting tin
25g (1oz) flour

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/R7 and and drizzle the pork with the oil. Scatter the salt over the skin and rub in well. Cook the pork directly on the oven shelf in the middle of the oven with a tin underneath to catch the juices. Roast for 25 minutes and then reduce the heat to 190°C/R5 and roast for 35 minutes per 450g.

2 When there’s just one hour of cooking time left, add the apples to the tin, scatter with the sage and pour the cider over. Return to the oven and cook for the remaining time.

3 When the pork is done, allow to rest for 20 minute before carving. Lift the apples from the tin to serve with the carved pork. To make the gravy, spoon off as much fat as you can from the goodness (reserving just a little) and make the volume up to 600ml with water or light stock.

4 Heat the reserved oil in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes before whisking in the goodness and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened to how you like it. The pork, apples and gravy are delicious served with steamed carrots, steamed cabbage and plenty of buttery mash.

Expert tip…

If you’re after perfectly crisp crackling, remove the pork from the packaging as soon as you can and allow to sit, uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry the skin.

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