Some Pork Recipes For Your Half Pig

The idea of the following recipes is that it gives you some really easy, quick to do meals with your pork. They have all been tried and tested either by us or by our friends and family.

Roast Pork

You can roast any cut and with all cuts I think it is hard to overcook pork and far better to do this than to undercook it. It is such an easy meal – it will not spoil if it has to sit around.

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 23 hours 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.

The best accompaniment is red cabbage and apple which you can slow cook in the oven alongside the pork. If you put baked potatoes in the oven at the same time, your whole meal could not be easier. Or try a green cabbage, apple and carrot salad, especially if serving pulled pork in rolls – that could be a meal the next day with leftovers.

If you do not want to make a separate apple dish you can cut up a few eating apples and just poke them under the joint half an hour before the end and you get delicious apple sauce with no trouble.

Casseroles

There are any number of pork casserole recipes and you can use any cut for these, just cook shoulder for longer and leg and loin for less time. Our favourite is Pork with Prunes and it could not be easier. The recipe refers to noisettes so loin or leg, but we have used shoulder and it works just as well, just not quite so elegant. For 4 people soak 0.5kg of prunes in half a bottle of cheap white wine for at least an hour or and longer if they are not ready to eat prunes. When they have soaked long enough, roll as much pork as you want in flour, salt and pepper and fry it quickly in butter and/or oil. Put it in a casserole dish and just cover with the wine, cook until tender – 45 mins for loin and longer for shoulder. When cooked add the prunes, bubble and reduce the juice if necessary, add some red currant jelly, salt and pepper, slowly add cream so it does not curdle and it is ready to eat. It will only improve by sitting around if nobody comes when you want them to.

Liver Pate

Pork Liver is fairly strong tasting and not to everyone`s taste on its own. However, the following pate is, we think, delcious. You can make a whole pate and freeze it in small packs.

750g pigs liver, 250g pork belly/fat bacon, 1 clove garlic, 5 anchovy fillets or 1 teaspoon anchovy essence, 3-4 rashers streaky bacon, Salt/pepper, 0.5pint of white sauce.

Mince the pork, add chopped garlic and anchovies, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stir in the white sauce. (You can leave this out and it just means the pate is rather crumbly and falls apart).

Line a tin with the bacon rashers, fill with the mixture, cover with buttered paper and bake in a tin of water for 40-50mins in a slow over. Press lightly and allow to cool. Run a little clarified butter over the top if not using immediately.

Tenderloin

There is only a small piece of tenderloin in each pig. We have greatly enjoyed the following recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Lentil Salad and Yogurt sauce. It is pretty quick to prepare and you can make everything well in advance, just cooking the pork very quickly at the last minute. It is a good meal to have if you have vegetarians to feed as the lentil salad is a meal in itself, particularly if you add a green salad to go with it all.

Belly

This is a very popular cut. It is fatty but very tasty and needs a long cook so all the fat comes out. It can be treated very simply as a roast – similar to a shoulder, but if you put it on some beans they absorb the fat and make a really delicious accompaniment to the meat, providing an all in one meal. I always put it in really hot to get the crackling good and then turn it down for a long cook.

Beans and Pork

The following recipe comes from Amanda –

“My beans and pork was with a piece of streaky pork (belly) and really yum and I do it in the slow cooker”.

500g haricot beans (cooked), 2 onions chopped, 2 sticks celery chopped, 2 tablesp Dijon mustard, 2 tablesp soft light brown sug, 3 tablesp molasses, 2 tablesp wine vinegar, pinch of ground cloves, 1 tablesp tomato puree, 750g streaky pork.

Put all the ingredients into casserole, top up with water to just cover the beans. Bury the pork in the mixture, bring slowly up to the boil, skim off any scum, stir the beans.
Cover tightly and cook in preheated oven 180C/350F for 2-2.5 hrs, add more water if dry after half time. Add salt to taste.
To serve cut pork into slices or chunks (I find it just dissolves into pieces) and serve with wholemeal rolls.

Trotters

Whenever I sell pork to a restaurant they take any spare trotters I have, as they are so versatile.

“Here is a recipe made by Julian, who told me at the time it was absolutely delicious! My memory is I simmered the trotter for 3-4 hours in water, onions, bay, thyme plus some carrots, some salt. I then dried and roast in the oven (hot) for 30-45 minutes with some orange zest.”

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