“Brining a pork joint ensures that it’ll stay moist when cooking and will intensify the flavour of the meat. Contrary to what you’d expect, the brine doesn’t make the meat salty – it just locks in the moisture and produces what is in my opinion the perfect roast. As if that wasn’t enough, a sweet apple gravy and tender roasted vegetables make this one of the best roasts I’ve ever had. You’ll never go back to un-brined pork again!”
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus up to 24 hours brining time)
Cooking time: Around 2 hours
Ingredients – Brine:
10 coriander seeds
3 bay leaves
Peel of 1 lemon
3 sprigs rosemary
3 star anise
100g white caster sugar
100g brown sugar
Ingredients – Roast Pork and Cider Vegetables:
5 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 apples (we used gala)
4 garlic cloves
2kg Pork Roasting Joint
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Ingredients – Lemon & Rosemary Potatoes:
1kg roasting potatoes
2 lemons, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary
The prep for this recipe begins up to 24 hours before cooking.
To make the brine, heat the dry spices in a frying pan until the room fills with their scent. Add a half of the water, the salt, lemon peel, rosemary and sugars, and heat on a medium-high setting until the sugar and salt has completely dissolved.
Pour the hot brine into a large food safe bucket or lidded pan with the remaining water and leave to cool. When the brine has reached room temperature, place in the pork joint and put straight into the fridge. Leave the pork to brine for up to 24 hours (we’d recommend a minimum of 8 hours for the brine to have the desired effect).
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.
When the pork has had a good dip in the brine, peel and quarter the carrots and parsnips and throw them into a big roasting pan. Cut a red onion into eight wedges, add to the pan and drizzle everything with a couple of tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Score the brined pork’s skin and put on rack over a roasting tin (or alternatively, rest it on top of the veg).
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes to brown the meat and vegetables.
After 15 minutes remove the pan from the oven and drain the oil (keep this for later!). In a jug, mix the cider, cider vinegar, garlic and mustard, and pour over the vegetables. Halve the apples and nestle them into the vegetables with the rosemary sprigs. Return the pan to the oven and cook for one and a half hours at 200C/180C fan.
While the pork is roasting, peel and halve the potatoes and bring them to the boil in a large pan of salted water. Cook until the outsides of the potatoes are soft and can be easily scored with a fork. Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave to steam dry for around 5 minutes. Pour the pork fat into a roasting tin and add a couple of extra tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Place in the oven and wait for the fat to become smoking hot before carefully pouring in the potatoes. Nestle the lemon quarters into them and place in the oven to cook for around 45 minutes, removing to toss the potatoes in the oil every 15 minutes.
When the pork is ready, remove from the pan and place onto a plate or carving tray to rest.
Pour the liquid from the pan into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Return the roasting pan with the vegetables to the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up a little.
In a bowl, mix the butter and flour together before stirring into the sauce. The butter will make it glossy while the flour will thicken it slightly. Cook for a couple of minutes so that the flour has a chance to do its thing.
Serve the potatoes, vegetables and pork on a large platter in the middle of the table and drizzle all over with the sweet gravy.