1.5kg (3lb) leg of pork
a little olive oil
1 onion, thickly sliced
3 leeks, thinly sliced
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped into rough 1cm (1/2in) chunks
500ml (17fl oz) dry cider
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp water
200ml (7fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
A stunning roast pork dish from television cook and author Jo Pratt that’s sure to impress your guests without breaking the bank. Seasonal apples, leeks and dry cider are used to give this dish a wonderful sweetness, and serving with perfectly crisp crackling makes it all the more comforting. A roast dinner idea to beat all others!
Preheat the oven to gas 8, 230°C, fan 210°C. Score the skin of the pork at regular intervals with the tip of a sharp knife. Rub a little oil all over the pork, then rub a generous amount of salt on top of the skin and into the score lines.
Sit the pork on top of the sliced onion in a shallow roasting tray. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin has started to turn golden. Reduce the heat to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and cook for a further 1 hour 30 minutes.
After 1 hour, remove the tray from the oven. Scatter the leeks and apple into the roasting tray around the pork and stir to coat in the pan juices. Return to the oven and continue cooking for the remaining 30 minutes or until cooked through with no pink meat remaining and the skin has turned to crackling.
Remove the pork from the tray and cover loosely with foil to rest. The onion, leek and apple can be kept in the tray to make the gravy. Put the roasting tray over a high heat. Add the cider and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes to reduce by about half. Stir in the cornflour mix and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a 1–2 minutes. Season to taste and serve with the pork and crunchy crackling.
Tip: For lovely crunchy pork crackling, the fat and skin need to be as dry as possible. Remove the meat from any packaging, pat dry with kitchen roll, then sit on a plate and chill uncovered, skin-side up, for a minimum of 2 hours or preferably overnight.