It's Sunday and that means only one thing - fetch your stretchy pants it's time for a roast dinner.
Roast pork can be delicious or disappointing and it's all to do with the quality of the pork. The best joints of pork for roasting are the leg and the loin.
Choose the leg if you're catering for large numbers, the loin (which can be bought in smaller sizes) is best for crackling.
And what's a pork roast without crackling?! Lip smackingly good.
Traditional Sunday Roast Pork & Crackling
1 kg/2 lb 4 oz piece of pork loin, boned and the skin removed and reserved
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp mustard
Apple sauce, to serve
For the gravy:
1 tbsp flour
300 ml/10 fl oz cider, apple juice or stock
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
Make sure the skin of the pork is well scored and sprinkle with the salt. Place on a wire rack on a baking tray and roast for 30–40 minutes until the crackling is golden brown and crispy. This can be cooked in advance, leaving room in the oven for roast potatoes.
Season the loin of pork well with salt and pepper and spread the fat with the mustard. Place in a roasting tin and roast in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and cook for 50–60 minutes until the meat is a good colour and the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.
Remove the meat from the oven and place on a hot serving plate, cover with foil and leave in a warm place.
To make the gravy, pour off most of the fat from the roasting tin, leaving the meat juices and the sediments. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking well. Cook the paste for a couple of minutes, then add the cider a little at a
time until you have a smooth gravy.
Boil for 2-3 minutes until it is the required consistency. Season well with salt and pepper and pour into a hot serving jug.
Carve the pork into slices and serve on hot plates with pieces of the crackling and the gravy. Accompany with apple sauce.
Homemade apple Sauce
Peel, core and slice 450 g/1 lb Bramley apples into a medium saucepan.
Add 3 tablespoons water and 15 g/1/2 oz caster sugar and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
A little ground cinnamon could be added, as could 15 g/1/2 oz butter, if desired. Beat well until the sauce is thick and smooth – use a hand mixer for a really smooth finish.
Serve with all the trimmings.
Recipe extract from Great British Cooking, £15.99, from Parragon's Love Food range, parragon.com