Roast pork and baked apples

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: for the apples – 40 minutes / for the pork – 2 hours & 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes resting.

Savoury baked Pink Lady applesIngredients:

for the pork
Approx. 2kg/4.5lb pork shoulder joint (bone out)
A little olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

for the baked apples
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
25g/1oz butter
2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
2 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
40g/1.5oz walnuts, chopped
4 small-medium Pink Lady apples

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/R7. Lay the pork joint in a roasting tin and rub all over with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the hot oven for 30 minutes.

2. Turn the heat down to 160°C/R3 and continue to roast for further 1 hour and 40 minutes (for a 2kg/4.5lb joint). If your joint weighs more or less, simply roast at the hot temperature for 30 minutes, then roast at the lower temperature for 25 minutes per kg. Once cooking time has finished, remove the pork, wrap loosely in tin foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

3. Once the pork is roasting in the oven, start the apples. In a small frying pan, gently sweat the onion with the olive oil, butter, bacon and sage, seasoning well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to soften over a low heat for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is lightly caramelised.

4. While the onion is cooking, prepare the apples. Slice the top off each apple, cutting about 1cm from the top, and score a fine line through the skin all around the middle of each. Using a melon baller, sturdy teaspoon or small knife, carefully scoop and hollow out the core and a little of the surrounding apple, leaving you with a walnut-sized cavity. Finely chop the excess apple from the core and add to the frying pan, along with the walnuts and fry for a further 5 minutes.

5. Place the apples in a snug cluster in a small baking dish and spoon the filling into the hollows, packing it down quite firmly. Top each with the cut off apple top, creating a lid. 20 minutes before the pork is due to be done, slide the apples into the oven and bake 40 minutes until soft when pierced with a skewer.

Recipe and image courtesy of pinkladyapples.co.uk

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