Hasselback squash with roast pork and Cashel blue

Serves 4-6

Hasselback squash with roast pork and Cashel blue

Hasselback squash with roast pork and Cashel blue

Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 06:00

   
  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking Time: 60 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Irish

Ingredients

  • 1kg pork loin
  • 1 handful sage leaves
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 100g pecan nuts
  • 3tbs maple syrup
  • 100g Cashel blue cheese or blue cheese of your choice
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 2tbs milk
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1tbs apple cider vinegar

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Pat the pork loin dry with kitchen paper. Score the fat on top with a sharp knife so that it crisps up in the oven. Place on a small roasting tray and season with salt. Roast for an hour, basting regularly with the fat that renders off. For the last five minutes scatter half of the sage leaves around the pork. Return to the oven for a further five minutes. Once cooked, cover the pork with a piece of foil and leave to rest. Reserve the sage leaves.

Cut the squash in half and gently scoop out just the seeds. Carefully remove the tough, pale skin off the squash using a peeler. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking tray and rub with a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just tender enough to cut easily. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, transfer to a chopping board. Place two chopsticks or wooden spoons on either side of the squash, then proceed to cut thin slices, stopping at the chopstick so you don’t cut through the whole way to the board. Your squash will be kept intact but have a perfect row of slices. Repeat with the other half. Drizzle both with a little oil and season with salt. Gently place back on the tray, place a few sage leaves drizzled in a little olive oil under the hollowed-out cavity. Roast until caramelised on the edges and cooked through. Another 20 minutes should do.

Meanwhile mix the crumbled blue cheese, cream cheese milk, olive oil and vinegar together until combined but still retaining some texture. This can be done by hand or it a blender. Just make sure it doesn’t get too smooth. Set aside.

Lightly toast the pecan nuts in a frying pan. Pour over the maple syrup and leave it to bubble and reduce for a few minutes before pouring the nuts and syrup on to a nonstick surface. Leave to cook before breaking up.

Carve the pork and place on a large platter, flanked by the squash. Scatter over the fried sage leaves and the pecan nuts. Serve with the blue cheese sauce.