MULLED CIDER MARINATED LOIN OF PORK WITH CHESTNUT STUFFING AND CIDER GRAVY
This recipe is one I often do at my Christmas cookery classes and it’s a great excuse to have some mulled cider on the go!
Ingredients: 1 boned loin of pork (about 1½ kg) Sea salt 1 carrot, skin on, quartered 1 onion, skin on, quartered 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped Soy sauce Worcestershire sauce For the marinade: Freshly grated nutmeg 250ml cider 1 stick cinnamon A pinch of ground ginger A pinch of mixed spice 3 cloves 2 star anise Zest of ½ orange For the stuffing: 75g butter 1 small onion, finely diced 250g breadcrumbs 150g chestnuts (the vacuum packed ones are fine), chopped 2 tablespoons of sweetened chestnut purée (from a can) Freshly grated nutmeg A small bunch of parsley, chopped Zest of 1 lemon Salt and pepper to season For the gravy: 25g butter 25g flour 150ml chicken stock 100ml reserved marinade (add some extra cider if you don’t have 100ml left) 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Method: 1. Firstly, make the marinade. Take a nutmeg seed and grate it four or five times with the accompanying grater into a saucepan. Add all the other ingredients and heat. Do not boil but keep warm for at least five minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. To prepare the pork, score the skin fairly deeply without cutting the flesh at ½cm intervals. (You can ask your butcher to do this for you.) Place the pork into a shallow dish and pour the marinade on top. Rub it into the pork to ensure it is coated. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
3. Preheat the oven to 220?C/fan 200?C/gas mark 6.
4. When you are ready to cook the pork, remove it from the marinade and pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Strain the marinade into a jug and reserve the liquid to use for the gravy.
5. Place the carrot, onion and celery in a roasting dish and lay the pork on top. Douse the pork with the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and rub in well. Place a small amount of water into the roasting dish (about 1 cm in depth). Cover with tinfoil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. After this time, reduce the temperature to 180?C/fan 160?C/gas mark 4. Remove the tinfoil and cook for a further 2 hours. To check if the pork is cooked insert a skewer into the middle. The skewer should feel too hot to place against your lip when the meat is cooked through. Remove the pork from the dish, reserving the cooking juices but discarding the rest, and allow to rest on a plate in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.
6. While the pork is roasting, make your gravy. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and combine to make a roux. Cook for about 5 minutes to cook out the flour (a good way to know it is cooked is by smelling some of the mixture – it should smell like baked biscuits or pastry). Add the reserved marinade and chicken stock. Bring the gravy to the boil, then add the soy sauce. Bring down to a simmer. Don’t panic if it looks lumpy as boiling and whisking energetically at the same time will get rid of any lumps. Once it is smooth, bring it back to a gentle simmer.
7. When the pork is cooked, add the strained juices to the gravy. Simmer until the gravy has thickened and the flavours have intensified sufficiently.
8. Carve the pork and serve with the gravy.
TARA’S TIP: I always start my gravy as soon as I put my meat in the oven, then let it simmer on a very low heat while the meat cooks, as it gives the gravy a much richer flavour.
This is not so much a recipe as a method. Make it for as many as you wish!
Ingredients: Carrots, cut into 1” chunks on the diagonal Freshly squeezed juice from an Orange Knob of Butter Some brown Sugar Handful of fresh Tarragon
Method: 1. Place all the ingredients into a roasting dish and place in a hot oven (200?C normal, 180?C Fan) until soft and glazed (about 40 mins depending on thickness of carrots) 2. Scatter the tarragon over just before serving.
Hasselback Potato au Gratin (I usually make 2 per person)
Ingredients: Baby new potatoes, sliced crossways at 5mm intervals. A glug of Rapeseed Oil A knob of Butter Salt & Pepper 75mls cream A drop of White Wine 50g Parmesan or strong cheddar cheese, grated A few sprigs of Thyme
Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 200?C or 180?C Fan 2. Place the oil and butter in a roasting dish and heat until sizzling 3. Slice the potatoes crossways at 5mm intervals but not cutting through Toss the potatoes in the hot oil and butter and season. Be careful!! The oil might spit up. 4. Roast for about 20mins or until golden and crisp on the outside and fairly soft in the centre. Add the white wine, cream, cheese and thyme to the potatoes then return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the cream has thickened slightly and the cheese has melted.