Roast pork shoulder (tender pork and crackling)

I absolutely love roast pork because it’s such a versatile meat. We cook a pork joint every other Sunday and it gives us a number of lunches and dinners for the week. As the meat is so fatty it is a good one to take to work cold and heat up with other vegetables that also become covered in pork juices. The best part about pork is you get a tasty, tender and fatty meat plus some crunchy crackling to snack on.

This recipe outlines the way we cook our pork shoulder, which gives us tender meat and perfect crackling. Serve it with this apple and cabbage sauce and some roasted root veg if you’re looking for some more carbohydrate.

Roast pork is not only a very tasty meal but full of quality animal fats and complete amino acids.

10

minutes prepation

2 – 2.5

hours cooking

4-8

servings

Perfect roast pork

This recipe is based on a pork shoulder joint with a weight of about 1.5kg.  

Prepare the meat by patting it dry with kitchen paper before scoring the fat and rubbing a generous amount of salt into the wounds. Lightly season the rest of the flesh with salt, pepper and some herbs (preferably fresh). We use the classic roast meat combination of rosemary and thyme.

Thinly slice some apples, we use Granny Smith, and lay them on to the base of the baking tray to create a bed for the pork to lie on. Pop on the pork.

Put the meat into the oven, set at 190°C on a conventional oven setting, on a shelf 2/3 up in the oven. (We generally consider preheating the oven to be a waste of energy so we only turn the oven on as we put the meat in.) We think the crackling more crispy and meat juicier if cooked using a conventional oven setting. If using a fan-forced oven, drop the temperature to 170°C.

Half way through cooking, pour over half a litre of vegetable stock or water. If using stock, consider the saltiness and dilute with water if you think it is particularly salty. Now drop the pork to a shelf towards the bottom of the oven.

We recommend the following cooking times as a guide – times will vary depending on the cut and thickness of the meat. We like our meat very juicy and a little pink in the centre so bear this in mind. Allowing the meat to stay slightly pink and juicy means that it when you reheat it the pork doesn’t become dry.

1kg – 100 minutes

1.5kg – 120 minutes

2kg – 140 minutes

Once happy with the roast, remove the baking tray from the oven and cover it lightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving. If you feel the crackling isn’t crisp enough, carefully remove it with a carving knife and pop it back in the oven at the same temperature whilst the meat rests.

You should be left with some fatty gravy in the baking tray. Provided you have used a good quality tray (more on this in a later post) scrape some of the loose caramelised bits of pork off the tray in the liquid. Add a tablespoon or so of water if required. 

We love throwing an onion and some whole carrots into the baking tray whilst the pork is cooking. Along with these roasted delights, this is great served with some black pudding and a nice cabbage and broccoli medley. And of course some duck or goose fat roast potatoes!

Roast pork goes perfectly with my cabbage and green apple sauce (coming soon)!

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