Huff ‘n’ Puff Pork (serves 4 – 6)

This is not my recipe but I wanted to share it because it works. What you get is brilliant crackling, moist soft meat and amazing gravy. It’s my new Sunday lunch with friends recipe. It’s from Fairytale Food by Lucie Cash, published by Random House at £15. It has a couple of extra details in italics by ME.

Ingredients

A 2 kilo (about) piece of boned rolled pork shoulder, preferably after a happy life and scored well

3 bayleaves (not sure I noticed these)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat the oven to its highest setting (Warning: if the oven is not immaculate, expect the house to fill with smoke)

Method

Rub the rind with salt while the oven is heating up

Line the roasting tin with foil in the shape of a cross i.e. one piece of foil lengthways and one piece across.

When the oven has come to temperature the salt will have absorbed some of the moisture from the rind – not that much from happy pigs.

Wipe the rind and re-sprinkle with salt and pepper including the underside of the meat

Place the pork onto the foil in the roasing tin, skin side up, but don’t wrap it.

Put it in the very hot oven for about half an hour. Turn the tin occasionally until the rind is well cooked all over, it should be dark golden turning brown on the edges. It must be cooked all over so, if it isn’t, turn it a bit more and keep an eye on it, you don’t want to burn it. This part is critical for good crackling.

When you are happy with the rind, remove the pork from the oven and turn it down to 170C/150C for fan ovens gas 3.5

Bring the foil up over the joint and wrap fairly tightly

Put it back in the oven and cook it for 3.5 to 4 hours.

If you want you can now remove and unwrap the pork and turn up the oven to roast the potatoes. Put the unwrapped pork back in the oven for 15 minutes at the end if you are worried it is getting too cool.

Add the meat juices to a saucepan and add equal quantities of red wine and water, bring to the boil. I’m afraid I add Bisto. Love it. If you’re not going to use gravy mix then don’t add the water.

Shred the meat (or carve it, it falls apart but who cares).

Serve with roasties and good fresh veg.

Yum.

Be prepared for waistline expansion!

To make really good roasties use old potatoes (King Edwards or Maris Piper are may favourites).

Peel and boil in water salted with plenty of salt (Gasp!) (I’ve been reading 50 Shades of Grey) until they are almost fully cooked (watch out for the King Edwards though as they tend to fall apart easily), and beginning to fall apart a bit- about 15 minutes . Drain and put back into the saucepan. Put the saucepan back on the heat and shake to fluff up the potatoes and remove excess moisture.

Meanwile heat goose fat (or rapeseed/sunflour oil) in the oven set to about 200C Gas 5 – 6 You need about half a centimetre of fat in the bottom of the pan.

When the fat is hot, carefully add the potatoes, arranging them round the edge of the pan as this browns them better than in the middle. Baste them with a spoon and then roast them, turning them over frequently, for about 40 minutes. If they are cooking too quicly turn the oven down, you want a soft but crisp consistency not bullets (although my lot love bullets actually).

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