Hello! Apologies first for my silence- I know it has been a few months since I last posted. Just never seemed to be enough hours in the day. But finally some quiet time and lots of recipes to tell you about.
To start with this is what we had for dinner last night. It is really easy and smells amazing (autumn/Xmas overtones!)
Being by taking a boneless roled joint of pork shoulder and preparing it with a spice rub. I had a 1kg joint so that is what my measurements are based on. Since this is boneless that is quite a lot of meat so easily should feed four (or two for dinner and enough left overs for lunch which is what we did!)
If the fat of the joint hasn't already been pre-cut put in some deep cuts in the fat to allow the spices to penetrate through and to improve the crackling.
Next take 2tsp fennel, 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp black peppercorns and crush in a pestle and mortar. Then add 1 tsp chopped garlic and the same of chopped red chillies and a tsp salt and continue crushing.
Once you have a roughly crushed paste you need to rub this all over the skin of the joint trying to get it into the cuts that you've made in the fat as well as all over the sides.
Place in a baking dish (fat side up) and drizzle with oil and put in a hot oven (around 220 degrees C) for about 20 mins which will nicely brown it all over. Then remove from the oven, drop the temperature to 130-150 degrees C (depending on if fan oven or not) and turn the joint over so the fat is at the bottom and pour over the juice of one lemon.
Put it back in the oven for an hour. Then take it out and pour over a small glass full of cider (or apple juice if you prefer) and put it back in the oven for an hour.
When that hour is up remove from the oven and pour the juices into a pan. Turn the joint over so the fat is facing up and turn the oven back up to 220 degrees C and put it back in for 20-25 minutes to crisp up the crackling.
Meanwhile skim off the fat and then bring up the juices to a simmer.
In a separate pan put 4 cored and peeled apples with a stick of cinnamon, 3 tbsp caster sugar, a tsp chopped chilli, a good grating of nutmeg and 150ml cider (or again apple juice).
Simmer with a lid on til it turns into a soft pulp. Then remove the cinammon and put in a warmed bowl.
Remove the joint from the oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes so that the meat rests.
Carve it into slices and serve with the apple compote. It works well with the full roast accompaniments, but last night I just served it with sticky rice and sweetcorn which worked well with the compote on the side and the juices spooned over.
You can also serve it in crusty bread. The chilli in the recipe gives it a great kick but if you don't like it spicy or are doing it for kids that don't like chilli then this can be omitted.
A great dish for the newly returned autumnal weather!