I recently came into possession of a large joint of pork and as a way of stopping myself from trying out 5 different pulled pork recipes* (which would have led to me sitting on my sofa eating the whole lot with a spoon) I decided to cook something that required a little more effort than I usually dedicate to the culinary arts.

It turns out, it was the same amount of effort (if not less).

It’s stuffed pork with vegetables. Slow roasted because I was playing Battlefield and you can’t pause that game.

There really isn’t much more to say about it, except it looks and tastes amazing. You really should give it a go.

*Once I have perfected my pulled pork rub (a phrase that sounds a lot dirtier than it is) I will post the recipe up here.

Ingredients:

For the pork.

Joint of Pork (I don’t know what size you want. Think about how many people are eating, gauge appropriately

Spinach (I just used baby spinach)

Ginger (I used pureed because I use it in almost everything and couldn’t be bothered to peel it every day)

Salt

Pepper

Cinnamon

Apple

Garlic

Paprika (Smoked or not, it’s your choice)

Method:

  1. Firstly, make incisions at about 1/4 inch along the skin/fat side of the pork at diagonals. I think this is either for aesthetics or decent crackling. Both good reasons
  2. Rub salt into the skin/fat bit
  3. Blend everything except the pork and paprika
  4. Make an incision in the pork and cut all the way through to the other side. You want a wide enough cut that you can get a decent amount of stuffing into it, but don’t bisect it.
  5. Stuff the pork. Just grab handfuls of the spinach mixture and cram it right on in there.
  6. Rub oil over the sides and underneath of the meat, but not on the fat/skin.
  7. Leave it to settle for a bit.

 

The Vegetables.

For mine, I used:

  • Fennel
  • Red onion
  • Carrot
  • Butternut Squash
  • Crushed Garlic
  • Cooking Apples

You can just grab whatever is in season, or whatever you like.

Chop them to roughly the same size, toss in a bit of oil and season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, fennel seeds, sage, oregano and a couple of bay leaves. Just a pinch of each, because otherwise you run the risk of not learning from my mistakes and every mouthful tastes like being punched by a spice merchant.

Cooking the lot

Make sure the vegetables all have room, you want one single flat layer. If you have them piled on top of each other they will steam and that’s not what we’re aiming for here.

Then mix apple juice and a beer of your choice (I had some Duvel in, but any hoppy beer will do).

Pour it in with the vegetables. You only want a really thin pool, about 2mm so the bottom of the chopped veg is sitting in it. We’re not boiling the veg in this mix (that’s for another recipe).

Sit the stuffed pork on top, skin side up

Cover over with foil

Set oven to… I’m going to guess at 200℃ but the numbers have all rubbed off on my oven dial so I, as previously stated, cook with guess work. It’s slow cooking, so just pick a fairly low heat. If it’s not cooking at all after an hour, turn it up.

Once the meat is cooked through (stab it, the juices should run clear) take the foil off, crank the heat up and cook it for a further 10 minutes. Make sure you check it regularly so it doesn’t burn. You want the skin to puff up and be crunchy.

Once that happens, take it out of the oven. Wrap the meat in foil and let it sit for 10 minutes. You can leave the vegetables in the oven so they don’t chill out too much.

Once it’s rested, put the vegetables on your plate(s), carve and serve the meat, pour on some of the juice from the bottom of the pan and enjoy.

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