Loin of Pork Dijonnaise
This has a lovely golden crust and the crackling is cooked separately to go with it.
Pat the skin of the pork with kitchen paper and place the meat, uncovered, on a plate in the fridge for the skin to dry - a day or so before cooking, if possible.
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This recipe is from The Delia Collection: Pork. Serves 6-8
Start by scoring the skin of the pork with the tip of a very sharp knife, or Stanley knife, or you can now even buy a special scalpel from a good-quality kitchen shop!
Even if it is scored already, it is best to add a few more lines. What you need to do is score the skin all over into thin strips, bringing the blade of the knife about halfway through the fat beneath the skin. Then take off the skin, together with about half the layer of fat underneath – in one piece if possible. Place this on a shallow baking tray, sprinkle generously with salt then put it on the highest shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it is a very crisp and crunchy piece of crackling to accompany the meat. When you remove it from the oven, pour the fat into a bowl to use later for frying etc.
Meantime, place the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl, crush the peppercorns with a pestle and mortar or using the back of a tablespoon, and add them to the breadcrumbs together with the sage and about ½ teaspoon salt. Next spread the mustard all over the layer of fat left on the pork, then press the breadcrumb mixture firmly all over, making sure that it is well coated. Transfer the joint to a roasting tin and place a square of foil lightly on top. Place the meat on a high shelf in the oven, reduce the heat to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), and roast the pork for about 2 hours, basting occasionally, and removing the foil for the last 30 minutes.
When the pork is cooked, leave it in a warm place to relax, then spoon off the fat from the roasting tin. Sprinkle a little flour into the juices and make some gravy with the cider. For the garnish, core the apples and cut into rings – but do not peel – and fry gently in butter until tender. Serve the pork cut in slices with the gravy and some crackling, garnished with the fried apple rings. New potatoes and a green vegetable would be good in summer, and in winter roast potatoes and braised red cabbage.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
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You will also need a small baking tray, and a solid roasting tin, approximately 10 x 12 inches (25.5 x 30cm), and some kitchen foil