I’ve conquered my pork cooking fears. Well, at least the roasting part. Next, chops.
I grew up in a house where the only pork product ever consumed was bacon and even that was boiled before being fried to get rid of the salt.
Dear GOD it’s a miracle I’m still alive.
Anyway, because I didn’t grow up with pork, my cooking with it has always been hesitant. Combine that with appalling pork products available to us – pork that in a marketing executive fit of stupidity involved trying to pitch it as a healthy meat so breeders bred out the fat and therefore the flavour – and my experience has always left me wanting.
But as artisan breeders start getting rare tasty breeds back into our butchers and onto our dining room tables, my willingness to try and incorporate this tasty meat into our diet is having pretty good success.
Then, the other day, I roasted a piece of boned pork shoulder and Oh.My.GOD it was good.
- 1.4 kg piece of boned shoulder, skin scored and piece tied thanks to the butcher
- Preheat oven to 220C
- Rub salt all over the meat
- Place on a rack in a baking tray and cook at 220 for 30 minutes to get the crackling underway
- Drop temperature back to 180C
- Pour a cup of stock into the baking tray and a cup of (white) wine in as well
- Leave it alone to cook for a further hour
- Pull out of the oven, cut the string, cut the crackling from the roast and if necessary, crank the oven back up to high and put it back in to finish it off
- Cover the meat and let it rest
- Drain off any excess fat from the baking tray and place over a low-medium flame on your stove top
- Scatter over a heaped tablespoon of plain flour and cook off for a minute or two or three – scrape it around and work in some of the crunchy bits off the baking tray
- Have a kettle of boiling water on hand
- Add some water, stirring furiously as you go to work out any lumps and keep adding until you have a good runny liquid
- Cook over the flame until it thickens.
- Cooking the roast with the stock and wine in the bottom makes this gravy extra tasty.
The boys had left over roast beef and gravy sandwiches the next day for school.