Some recipes are built to make life easier, and some just make it more complicated. Baking, for instance, is lovely…. but there’s so much counting and checking and looking and prodding and poking that basically if you’re going to bake you may as well set aside the day and be prepared to sit on the oven for the last half hour of baking so that you can whisk out the cake at the peak and pinnacle of perfection.
I am not a patient woman, believe it or believe it not. Baking is fun to do… in the right mood… and torture in the wrong.
This week’s recipe is one I used for Boxing day a few years ago, and nicked from an edition of Sainsbury’s Magazine, but if everyone had their own , then it rightfully belongs to Jamie Oliver, whose recipe it started off as.
Slow Roasted Marmalade Pork
It takes 6 hours to cook, but before you jump up and down on me, that’s 6 hours on a low light in the oven with no more than 10 or 15 mins max messing right at the end. It’s a cracking recipe for a buffet or family meal, because you have so much time to do other stuff. 6 hours is enough time to do a wash, go for a walk, even do the supermarket shop!
- 1 x 5.5 kg neck-end shoulder of higher-welfare pork , or 2 x 1.75kg boneless higher-welfare pork shoulder joints
- olive oil
- 1/2 x 340 g jar of good-quality fine-shred orange marmalade
- 2 fresh red chillies
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh mint
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas 4.
- Place the pork in a large roasting tray. Using a small, very sharp knife (a Stanley knife is ideal), score deep incisions into the pork skin at 2cm intervals, in a crisscross fashion. Drizzle over a generous lug of oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, then rub it all over.
- Roast for about 5 hours (4 hours if using the boneless joints), or until the crackling is crispy and the meat is absolutely tender and shreds easily when you pull it with a fork.
- Once the pork is perfectly cooked, remove it from the oven and carefully drain away the fat (or save it for lovely roast potatoes). Tip the marmalade into a bowl, then mix in 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Spoon this all over the pork, then put it back into the oven for another 30 minutes, or until it’s golden and glazed.
- Remove the pork from the oven, cover with tin foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, finely slice the red chilli, and pick and roughly chop the mint and parsley leaves.
- When you’re ready to serve, shred the meat and crackling using a sharp knife and a fork, and place on a serving platter. Drizzle some of the sticky cooking juices over the meat, scatter over the chilli and herbs, then grate over the lemon zest and toss together.
And that’s it! We’ve had it with potatoes, mash, tortillas, stuffed into baguettes, with pasta, with noodles, or just picked at straight off the board. Easy, no mess, no waste food that goes down well with all the family.
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a useful link or resource for you. Today’s is a really useful one; how to make candles last longer. Apart from having guinea pigs with a chest infection and being banned from lighting candles until they recover (that’s us at the moment), here are some really useful ideas from Miss Thrifty to make even your most expensive candles give good value burning.