Roast pork makes a delicious Sunday lunch treat or Christmas recipe for the whole family. This method uses a sweet and savoury apricot and mushroom stuffing to flavour the pork and is finished off with the perfectly crisp crackling for texture.
- 20g unsalted butter
- 125g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 60g dried apricots, finely chopped
- 1tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1.5kg piece of pork loin, boned and skin scored
Heat the butter in a sauté pan then add the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Put into a sieve to drain off any excess liquid. Mix with the apricots and sage. Lay the pork on a board, skin side down. Cut a ‘pocket’ into the loin then spread over the purée and roll up the pork. With a second pair of hands to help, tie the pork securely at 3cm intervals with butcher’s string. Place on a plate then leave uncovered in the fridge overnight.
Remove the pork from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 240C, gas 9. Rub 2tsp sea salt over the skin. Roast in the top of the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180C, gas 4 and roast for an hour or until the internal temperature has reached 70C – you can check this with a meat thermometer.
Remove and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Remove the string and you can either slice through the crackling or remove it then slice the meat.
The trick to perfect crackling is a great piece of British free-range pork to start with. Then leave it uncovered in the fridge for a few hours to dry out the skin. Serve with an apple sauce spiced with star anise and cloves. Any leftovers are delicious cold.