Sep 08 2011
Ideally, if you have time, stuff a boned shoulder of pork with apples and celery, onion and breadcrumbs, sage and lemon, all bound together with soft butter and a beaten egg; salt and pepper of course.
But if you’re in a hurry, on the way to work or taking the children to school, leave out the stuffing or cook it later separately. Score the pork skin with a sharp knife and rub in plenty of oil and salt. You can do this the evening before and leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning shove it into a hot oven as you grab a coffee, read e mails and make the pack lunches. But do remember to turn the oven down after 30 minutes to a low temperature ; 140 C/ Gas mark 1. Pour over a glass of cider and a little water and leave it alone for 4 or 5 hours. The bottom oven of a range is ideal here.
About an hour before supper turn up the oven to crisp the crackling on the pork. Cook the apple and celery stuffing separately in a dish beside the pork. Keep an eye on the meat while you peel, cook and mash potatoes. Sauté cabbage, carrots or leeks to go with the meat. Take the pork out of the oven and allow to rest. This is essential to allow the juices to soak back into the meat. Meanwhile finish the vegetables and make gravy in the roasting dish deglazing the residue with the vegetable water or a little stock, if you have it, and thickening with a little slaked corn flour. Taste it and add salt and pepper too.
To serve cut the crackling from the meat and break into crisp pieces. Tear the meat into shreds and serve with stuffing , gravy, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Ideal comforting food for a cold December evening with good friends.