5th October 2015 Debra

The Perfect Pork Roast

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A classic recipe for pork shoulder with rosemary. Pork leg tends to be dry, so the moister shoulder is a better bet. Roast it slow and low.


6 with left overs


  • 2kg pork shoulder on the bone from Waterall (Moor Markets)
  • salt, pepper, 1tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • an onion and two carrots
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2tbsp flour


The day before you want to serve it, score the pork skin with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern (not the long strips beloved by some supermarkets), cutting through to the fat but not the meat. Place the pork in a deep roasting tin, skin side up, and pour a kettle of boiling water over it. Once cool enough to handle, remove it from the tin and pat dry with kitchen paper, paying special attention to the skin. Rub it all over, generously, with salt, pepper and finely chopped rosemary.

Put the pork in a deep dish, skin-side up but uncovered, and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Pat the pork dry again, and rub a little more salt into the skin, getting it right in the score marks. Give it an hour to come up to room temperature.

Put the pork in a roasting tin skin-side up and roast for 40 minutes, by which time the skin should be starting to puff and look like crackling. Pour the chicken stock into the base of the pan and add an onion, halved, and a couple of carrots.

Cover the pork with a layer of greaseproof paper and then a layer of foil, sealing it round the sides. Reduce the heat of the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake the pork for another 2½hours.

Remove the foil and paper and cook for another hour. If the crackling isn’t properly crisp, then crank the oven temperature up as high as it will go for the last half hour. Remove the pork from the oven and put it on a warm plate. If the crackling still isn’t to your liking, remove it from the meat and pop it back in the oven to crisp up further – much depends on the breed of pig and how it was reared. While the meat rests make the gravy.
Pork sauces

Apple is the classic, but anything with a bit of a tang works, such as a puree of gooseberry or rhubarb – sweeten them only enough to take the edge off any harshness and add a little chopped tarragon for herby balance if you like. Or go all out: a half and half mixture of apple puree and crème fraiche is rich but delicious.

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