Recipe: Roast pork and crackling, cider & shallot gravy & apple sauce

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The crackling was so crunchy and delicious

Recently, Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in developing some pork recipes to help promote their new website, Porc.Wales.

Porc.Wales has been set up to promote the Welsh pork industry and to encourage Welsh consumers to eat more locally produced, quality pork products. The website showcases the finest pig farmers and producers from around the country and includes a directory of regional stockists to link consumers directly with pork producers and butchers – enabling them to source pork produce locally.

With a growing innovative pork industry, the Porc.Wales website includes interviews with farmers, butchers and chefs who explain why pork produced in Wales is so special. In addition, the website offers recipes and features which explore how to prepare different cuts of pork.

I was more than happy to get involved in the Porc.Wales campaign and the first recipe I chose to cook was roast pork with crackling, cider and shallot gravy and apple sauce. The full recipe is outlined below. 

Serve the roast pork, gravy and apple sauce with plenty of fresh veg.

Serve the roast pork, gravy and apple sauce with plenty of fresh veg.

Roast pork and crackling with cider and shallot gravy, and apple sauce

With Autumn on the way, this recipe for roast pork and crackling served with cider and shallot gravy and homemade apple sauce is the perfect comfort food dish for a chilly evening. Adding cider to the gravy makes for a hearty flavour, while the shallots help to darken the juices from the meat and create a rich stock with plenty of depth. Meanwhile, the apple sauce is so quick and easy to make, you'll wonder why you never did it before!
Course Main Course
Cuisine UK
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 732 kcal

Ingredients

For the pork and the gravy

  • 1.8 kg/4lb shoulder of pork
  • 4 shallots peeled
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 ml dry cider
  • 250 ml vegetable stock or potato water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the apple sauce

  • 225 g/8oz Bramley cooking apples peeled, cored and diced
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 15 g/½oz butter
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

Instructions

For the pork and gravy

  1. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475F/Gas Mark 9.
  2. If the skin on the pork hasn't already been scored, use a sharp paring knife to score the skin into thin strips, ensuring the blade of the knife reaches around halfway through the thickness of the skin.
  3. Place the pork in a roasting tin with the skin facing up and carefully slide the shallots underneath it.
  4. Sprinkle around 1tbsp of sea salt crystals all over the skin, pushing it down between the strips (this helps to make the crackling as crunchy as possible!)
  5. Place the pork onto the top shelf of the oven and roast for 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. Then, turn the temperature down to 190°C/375F/gas 5 and calculate the combined cooking time at 35 minutes to the pound, before deducting the initial 30 minutes cooking time. At this point, I had to cook my pork for a further 1 hour and 50 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes until carving.
  7. As the pork cools, carefully spoon all fat from the surface of the roasting juices and, leaving the shallots in, place the roasting tin over the hob on a low heat, sprinkle in the flour and quickly beat it into the juices using a wooden spoon.
  8. Turning the heat up to medium, slowly add the cider and stock a little at a time and use a whisk to mix into the juices. By now, the gravy should be starting to thicken.
  9. Season the gravy with salt and pepper, remove the shallots and pour into a serving jug. Carve the pork into slices and serve with plenty of crackling and roasted vegetables.

For the apple sauce

  1. Place the apples, lemon zest and water into a saucepan and warm over a low heat.
  2. When the apples start to go soft and mushy (after around 8-10 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and caster sugar.
  3. Leave to cool before serving

Recipe Notes

To check if the pork is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat and check to ensure that the juices run clear, with no hint of pink.

If your gravy becomes lumpy when you add the flour, try using a whisk to beat it into the juices instead of a wooden spoon.

When making the apple sauce, use a vegetable peeler to zest the lemon if you haven't got a zester to hand; the lemon zest should come off in strips (but be careful - you don't want to include any white pith, as this has a bitter taste).

Homemade apple sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months; an ice-cube tray is very handy for this!

For further information, see www.Porc.Wales

The pork used in this recipe was provided complimentary by Bodnant Welsh Food’s in-house butchery. However, I was not obliged to write a positive review.

This post contains affiliate links.

39 Comments

  1. September 13, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    Oh wow! That does look so yummy! Another recipe to be added to my growing list 🙂

    Claire
    x

  2. September 13, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    Now, I know your just tormenting me now! I absolutely love this dish and cannot wait to get my hands on a joint of pork to make it.Yum Yum!

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:30 am

      It was lovely. I used pork shoulder x

  3. September 13, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    Oh gosh this sounds delicious and my other half would love the crackling part – he is a bit partial to a nice bit of crackling lol. x

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:31 am

      Hehe, I loved the crackling too. I probably put most of it on my plate! >.<

  4. September 13, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    Oh wow! That has me drooling! It sounds and looks amazing! I love crackling x

  5. September 13, 2015 / 8:05 pm

    That looks and sounds delicious. My kind of meal. I love a good pork joint with loads of crackling.

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:31 am

      Me too! This crackling was really perfect.

  6. September 13, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    Ooh… We do love pork here. We usually buy it when we are cooking for others as it’s such a cheap meat compared to others! Looks gorgeous!

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:32 am

      Yes, I’ll be using more pork from now on. I am never usually that keen on it, but cooking for Porc.Wales has helped me to think of new ways of preparing it.

  7. September 13, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    Wow! Looks amazing! Will have to try this one Sunday. Crackling is always a big hit and a big fight in my house ! Haha

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:32 am

      I can imagine 🙂 It’s well worth a go, let me know how you get on if you get round to doing it!

  8. September 13, 2015 / 8:44 pm

    The recipie looks delicious I really like pork and I’malways looking for great new meal ideas for it aside from a roast!

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:29 am

      I definitely recommend this recipe 🙂 It went down well with my housemate.

  9. September 13, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    Ooh crackling is my favourite! This looks so yummy, I am a terrible cook though, so hubby would have to do it x

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:28 am

      I have never been great at crackling, but this time around it was amazing. I think this was owing to me using sea salt instead of regular salt x

  10. Emma
    September 13, 2015 / 10:24 pm

    I adore roasted pork! Thank you for sharing this. bookmarked for the next time I get motivated to cook x

  11. September 13, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    I will be printing off that recipe and handing it over to my husband with a request to cook it as soon as possible. It looks delicious.

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:27 am

      I don’t blame you, believe me, it tastes just as good as it looks 🙂

  12. Serena
    September 13, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    This looks tasty, I love pork with apple sauce. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:27 am

      No problem 🙂 I can’t believe how easy it is to make your own apple sauce.

  13. September 13, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    Oh my goodness!!!! This is making my mouth water just thinking about it! We had a roast tonight but I think I’ll be doing this next week! Sounds and looks delicious!!

    • September 14, 2015 / 9:27 am

      I would definitely cook this recipe again, it’s well worth a try!

  14. September 14, 2015 / 9:44 am

    I absolutely love crackling on pork, ooh I need this right now x

  15. September 14, 2015 / 10:51 am

    My husband would love this! I don’t eat pork so never cook it at home but it’s one of my husbands favourite dishes especially crispy crackling.

  16. September 14, 2015 / 11:24 am

    i’ve been fancying a roast dinner all weekend and now you post this *shakes fist*

  17. September 14, 2015 / 4:39 pm

    This looks delicious. I know what I am going to be making some day soon…

  18. September 14, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    My husband would love this – a great sunday lunch recipe!

  19. September 15, 2015 / 6:36 am

    I LOVE Crackling, this will definitely be on my list of things to cook once the weather gets colder and we start having roasts again on a Sunday

  20. September 15, 2015 / 7:19 am

    Oh you just made me excited for sunday now! There is no way I an cook this even with best recepie so I need to head to my local pub 😉

    • September 15, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      It wasn’t that hard 🙂 I’ve never made my own gravy before – can you believe it?! Call myself a food blogger… lol!

  21. September 15, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    My god ! I just had dinner and I am starving again .. This is awesome and so easy too

  22. September 15, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    That’s some good looking food right there! Reminds me of my Nan cooking on Sundays, starting at the crack of dawn. Haha

  23. September 17, 2015 / 7:04 am

    I will certainly be giving this one a try! Hubby would be elated!

  24. September 19, 2015 / 10:03 am

    This sounds amazing, I am doing pork tomorrow 🙂 will be trying this out x

    • September 19, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      It is delicious; I really recommend it!

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