Roast Pork with Apples, Cider Vinegar, Blackcurrants & Rosemary. This dish always takes me back to rural Wales where I grew up. My Grand Parents and Great-Grand Parents lived next-door to each other in a little row of Miners Cottages along the river in the picturesque village of Machen.
Most of my childhood weekends and School holidays in “The Row”. What memories. It never rained and days were spent in the sunshine playing Robin Hood in the woods with friends. Funny how memories focus on the positive.
This together with the memories of fun family Sunday lunches where the table groaned with fresh, home-grown produce will last forever.
Roast Pork handed down the Generations
Ada, my Great-Grandmother spent her teenage years “in- service”. She was retained by one of the great houses in the area. This is where she learned to cook including the best apple pie I have ever tasted.
Growing Your Own
Consequently, after her marriage to George, a Coal Miner, they set up home in “The Row” and to make ends meet grew their own vegetables and reared their own pigs. Roast Pork with Apples, Cider Vinegar, Blackcurrants & Rosemary was one of the dishes she learned when in service. She served it regularly to the many generations attending her wonderful family Sunday Lunches. (These were served promptly at one o’clock. If you were late you were in really big trouble and consequently punished accordingly.)
Roast Pork with Apples, Black Currants, Apple Cider Vinegar & Rosemary
- 2 –2¼kg/4lb 8oz–5lb Loin of pork on the bone rind removed
- 1 Garlic clove crushed
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary plus a few extra whole sprigs
- 1 Large onion thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp Cider vinegar plus extra for gravy
- 2 tbsp Blackcurrant jelly plus extra for gravy
- 500 ml Vegetable stock
- 50 g Butter
- 1 Small onion finely chopped
- 1 Small lemon grated zest
- 50 g Fresh white breadcrumb
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary needles
- 6 Good-sized apples preferably Golden Delicious
Make some deep incisions in the pork, close to the bone. Mix together the garlic, chopped rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt. Rub into the cuts, spreading any extra over the meat. Set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C.
Scatter the onion and a few sprigs of rosemary into a roasting tin. Put the pork on top, skinned side up, cover tightly with foil and roast with the rind for 30 minutes.
Turn down the heat to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C and cook the rind for a further 30 minutes and the roast for a further hour.
Remove the foil and roast uncovered for 20 minutes.
Preparing the Apples
Meanwhile, prepare the apples. In a pan melt the butter and cook the onion gently until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, add the lemon zest, breadcrumbs, and rosemary. Season well.
Core the apples. Cut a line through the skin all around the waist of each. Fill each apple with onion stuffing. Mix the vinegar and redcurrant jelly for the glaze.
Remove the pork from the oven. Turn the heat to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Stand the apples around the pork, brush the pork with a little glaze and drizzle a little over the apples.
Return to the oven and roast with the rind also in the oven, uncovered, for a further 20-25 minutes. Baste the pork twice with the juices and brush once with any remaining glaze.
Test the pork by piercing in the center with a skewer. The juices should run clear, not pink. If in doubt, remove the apples, keep warm, cover the pork with foil and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
Put the pork and apples on a warmed plate, cover with foil and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Preparing the Sauce
Spoon off the excess fat from the tin and put the tin on the stove over medium-high heat. Pour in the stock. Boil vigorously for 5-6 minutes. Taste and season, adding a little jelly and/or cider vinegar to taste. Strain into a gravy boat. Serve the pork and apples with the crackling, garnished with rosemary
The big hit in our family is to serve Crunchy Fried Cabbage and oven roasted Sweet Potatoes with this dish. The textures work really well and of course, the taste is rustic and homely. So create your own Sunday Lunch memories.
As this dish is heavily flavored we decided to serve Benjamin Darnault Pique Nique Rose 2017. Top-drawer rosé that’s fresher than a morning daisy. Think freshly crushed strawberries with a couple of raspberries thrown in to boot, combined with freshly whipped cream and a nice sharp bite. Top-drawer rosé and fresh as a morning daisy. Ben gets his grapes for this wine from a cooperative high in the Languedoc hills – so you’re getting boutique quality rosé for a supermarket snip! Available from Naked Wines