Roast pork with apples & rosemary

Roast pork with apples & rosemary

By
From
Sicily
Serves
6

There is a breed of pig in Sicily known as Black Pig, the suino nero. It is small but has a good layer of fat, which ensures a succulent result to the meat. Marco Piraino, our chef friend from Palermo, showed us how he made a stunning Sunday lunch or dinner from a good cut of pork. Do try to find one from your butchers with a decent layer of fat. Even though you cut the skin away, you want enough fat under it and around the loin to keep it from drying out.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.6kg pork loin on the bone
2 garlic cloves, 1 cut in half and 1 peeled and lightly crushed
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
4 apples, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
3 sprigs rosemary
500ml white wine
1 litre water, plus 100 ml
50g salted butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C. Allow the pork to come to room temperature. Remove the skin from the joint, leaving a little fat on the loin and most of it on the skin. It is easy to do this yourself using a long, sharp knife, or just ask your butcher to do it for you. Score the fat with a sharp knife, such as a Stanley knife if you have one, and place in a shallow dish. Pour over half a kettle of just-boiled water – this will soften the skin and open up the pores to help the crackling (pork rinds) develop. Drain off the water and dry the skin on kitchen paper on both sides. Rub with a light sprinkling of salt. Put the skin onto an oven rack and set aside.
  2. Rub the meat all over with the halved garlic clove, then season the joint all over. Put the remaining garlic clove with the vegetables, half of the chopped apples and 2 of the rosemary sprigs into a large, deep roasting pan and lay the meat on top. Pour in the wine and water (this can be done in two or three stages as the liquid evaporates, if your dish isn’t deep enough to hold it all in one go).
  3. Roast the pork in the oven with the skin on the rack above it so that the fat drips down on to the meat. Cook for 30 minutes then turn down the heat to 180°C and continue to cook for another 1– 1½ hours or until the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part with a skewer or the meat measures 71°C with a probe thermometer.
  4. When the pork is cooked, remove it from the oven and place on a serving dish to rest covered in foil and a cloth to keep warm. Let the juices in the pan settle. Remove the crackling and keep warm, but don’t cover or it could become soggy. Meanwhile, cook the remaining apples in the butter with the 100 ml water and remaining rosemary sprig in a medium saucepan with a lid until they are just soft but not collapsed. Skim off the excess oil from the roasting pan and discard. Pour the meat juices and roasted vegetable and apple mix into a serving bowl.
  5. Serve the pork with the buttery apples arranged around the joint and the meat juices and vegetables on the side. Enjoy with the crackling and with mashed or roast potatoes, or soft polenta, and the Purple Sprouting Broccoli.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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