Perfect Sunday lunch: slow and easy roast pork

Braise your weekend cookery game and top off with a tart little bramble sauce

Braised porrk shoulder in cider

Braised porrk shoulder in cider

 

It’s that time of year again when the coats are coming out and getting dry-cleaned. Apparently, it’s all about slow fashion now. Gone are the days of rushing out to get a quick fashion fix, usually ending up with something like an army-green anorak and looking like a tubby Ray Mears. At my age it’s all about the waterproofing, hiking boots and comfort.

Speaking of comfort, is there anything more comforting than a cider-braised pork shoulder? You can showboat to your pals, and obviously, the better the cider, the better the finished dish. Something classy such as Highbank apple cider or a Slane perry should do the trick.

We don’t eat pork that often, mostly because I refuse to buy non-free-range pork. I want my little piggy roast waddling in mud, eating roots and grubs and sunbathing with plenty of water in an open field. Getting the odd back scratch from its owner when they fill their water bucket up. There are so many free-range pork producers in Ireland, and they are all amazing people. If you follow Andarl or Castlemine farm on Twitter, you get regular updates of truly sustainable farm life.

This roast is perfect for a Sunday lunch. Just add a tart little bramble sauce, made with the juices from the pork shoulder.

BRAISED PORK SHOULDER IN CIDER

Braised porrk shoulder in cider
Braised porrk shoulder in cider

Ingredients
2kg pork shoulder
2 Spanish onions, unpeeled and quartered
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped to thumb-sized pieces
4 pink lady apples, quartered
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
1tsp fennel seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
2tbs wholegrain mustard
1 .5l of good sweet cider
25ml good neutral olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method
1. Add the veg and apples into a large roasting dish, season with salt and pepper, half the olive oil and half the wholegrain mustard. Coat well. Add the garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.

2. Carefully score the fat of the pork shoulder diagonally, and then place in the middle of the tin. Rub with the rest of the oil, wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper.

3. Pour the cider over the pork and on to the veg.

4. Cover the dish with tinfoil and put in a preheated oven at 160 degrees. Roast for one hour and 40 minutes.

5. Remove foil and carefully toss the veg around to evenly coat.

6. Return to oven and turn oven up to 200 degrees and roast for a further 25-30 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and allow the pork to rest for 20 minutes. 8. Serve with the roasted vegetable, apples and gravy.

ULTIMATE BRAMBLE SAUCE

Ultimate bramble sauce
Ultimate bramble sauce

Ingredients
200ml good quality red wine
450ml beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 punnet black berries
1tsp sugar
Black pepper 
Sea salt

Method
1. Using a medium saucepan, add the red wine, beef stock, blackberries, sugar and bay leaves.

2. Allow to reach boiling point and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer sauce for 45 minutes to an hour to allow it to reduce and thicken.

3. Add the black pepper and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve with game meat or pork.

MORCILLA HASH WITH HISPI CABBAGE AND LOVAGE

Serves 4

Morcilla hash with hispi cabbage and lovage
Morcilla hash with hispi cabbage and lovage

Ingredients
200g morcilla Spanish sausage (or black pudding), chopped into 2in slices
5 cooked waxy potatoes, such as pink firs, crushed
1 medium white onion, sliced
Half hispi cabbage, outer leaves removed, roughly chopped
3 scallions, thinly chopped
1 handful lovage, chopped
3tbs butter
Salt and cracked black pepper
Oil for frying

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan.

2. Fry the morcilla until browned – about five minutes on each side.

3. Remove from pan and set aside. Return the pan to the heat. Add another dash of oil and the potatoes and onions. Allow to fry for at least five minutes on each side to ensure the potatoes get nice and crispy. 

4. Add the hispi cabbage. Fry for a further five minutes, stirring frequently. 

5. Place the butter in the skillet and season with a generous helping on salt and cracked pepper.

6. Return the morcilla to pan and give a quick stir. 

7. Garnish with the lovage and scallions. Serve with fried eggs and crusty sourdough. 

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