Roast Loin of Pork with Herbs and Spiced Apricots
This Christmas recipe for pork uses the loin, which yields lots of crunchy crackling, roasted with aromatic herbs. It is served with a sweet and sour sauce made with our Spiced Apricot and Orange Chutney simmered with some sweetish white wine such as Riesling.
Crisp roast potatoes and Traditional Braised Red Cabbage with Apples make a wonderful accompaniment for this. If you do not have an apricot chutney, then I suggest serving this with a classic apple sauce and some prunes in Armagnac.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas Serves 8
When you buy a piece of pork always look out for a dry skin – the drier the skin, the better the crackling will be. If it does look at all damp, dry it as much as possible with a cloth and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator till needed.
When you are ready to cook the pork, place it on a board and tuck little sprigs of rosemary and thyme in between the scored fat. Make little slits all over the joint with the tip of a knife (particularly near the bone) and insert the slivers of garlic in them – and a few herbs here and there as well. Now rub the surface of the skin all over with coarse sea salt and a sprinkling of pepper: this will help to give crunch to the crackling.
Place the joint in a roasting tin, slipping half an onion underneath to give a good colour and flavour to the sauce in due course. Don't add any fat at all, as there is more than enough in the pork. Roast on the highest shelf in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), and continue to cook for a further 1¾-2 hours.
When the pork is cooked, remove it to a warmed plate, leaving the pan juices and fat in the roasting tin, and keep warm.
To make the sauce, discard the onion and spoon off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the roasting tin, retaining the pan juices. Then sprinkle in the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Place the tin over a gentle heat and, using a wire whisk, gradually whisk in the wine, little by little, until you have a smooth sauce. Let it bubble and reduce for a few minutes, taste to check the seasoning, then finally stir in the chutney and orange zest. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then pour the sauce into a jug to hand round separately with the meat.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C)
You will also need a solid roasting tin.