Pork Recipes for Easter

Roast Pork

Our favourite cut is shoulder on the bone, cooked for a very long time, very slow so the meat just pulls off the bone – called “Pulled Pork” and quite the fashion now.

You can do this for a boned and rolled shoulder of pork too. Check the cooking times for the size of your joint but for a large joint for 8 people we put it in a very hot oven for 30mins to get the crackling really good and then turn it down to 120C and cook for a further 5-7 hours without being covered. I have seen recipes which say you can cook it fast followed by 23hours at 100C.

For all roasting joints including leg and loin, for extra flavour chop up root ginger, garlic and rosemary and with a sharp knife press it into the gaps between the scored skin. Some slivers of lemon peel poked into the meat is also really good. For the best crackling do not use any salt and make sure the joint is dry and well scored before putting it into the oven. I personally think it is hard to overcook pork and far better than to undercook it.

The best accompaniment is red cabbage and apple which you can slow cook in the oven alongside the pork. Or try a green cabbage, apple and carrot salad, especially if serving pulled pork in rolls.

Giblets and Roasting Your Chicken

I am quite often asked how to deal with the giblets which come with your chicken and so I thought I would do a little note on them and describe how we think our chickens are best prepared.

The Giblets

Giblets provide the base for the most delicious gravy. Put your giblets (minus the liver which you can quickly fry for a snack on toast or use in a stuffing) into a smallish saucepan. Add a clove or two of garlic, a whole onion, thyme and bayleaf (both very easily grown in the garden and available fresh throughout the year), peppercorns and carrot and celery. Cover with water, bring to the boil and leave to simmer while the chicken cooks.

Roasting The Chicken

Roast chicken makes such an easy meal. When we roast our chickens we chop an onion and several cloves of garlic into large chunks which we place in a roasting tray under the chicken. If you have a few slices of lemon and some fresh tarragon (also very easily grown in your garden) add these too. Liberally cover the chicken with large grinds of pepper, salt and olive oil and place in a hot oven (180 –200 C). Cook at this heat for about 30 mins until golden brown and then turn down to 160C. Cooking time will vary according to the weight of the chicken but in our experience it is quite difficult to overcook them. We allow another hour for a smaller chicken and 1.5 hours for a larger one. When it is cooked (test by putting a knife into the centre of the chicken to ensure no pink juices come out), leave it to sit for 20 mins or so – no harm will come to it, if you leave it for longer.

If you have a large chicken the onions will start to get overcooked before the chicken is ready. At this stage or towards the end of your cooking time, take the chicken out of the baking tray. Pour any juices from the inside of the chicken into the tray. Put the chicken into another tray and either leave it to continue to cook or leave it to sit in a warm oven until you need it.

The Gravy

Put the tray with the juices onto a hot hob, add a teaspoon or two of cornflour and some stock from your giblets, bring to the boil, continue to add the giblet stock and stir until you have the right consistency for the gravy. You may find there are more juices from the cooking chicken which you can also add at this stage. We leave the onion, tarragon and lemon in the gravy as they add to the meal. The giblets and juices make all the flavour you need for the gravy although you may choose to add a little salt and pepper.

Skip to toolbar