Crisp crackling is one of the best things about roast pork. To make sure that yours is good and crunchy, score deeply through the skin with a sharp knife, following the natural grain of the meat, then rub in butter and coarse salt before roasting. Baked apples make a delicious accompaniment.
SERVES 6 - 8
1.6 kg (3 1/2 lb) loin of pork
40 g (l 1/2 oz) butter
fresh rosemary sprig
6 large Cox's Orange Pippin apples, cored
salt and pepper
150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine (optional)
150 ml (1/4 pint) chicken stock
fresh watercress sprigs, to garnish
1. Score the pork rind all over with a sharp knife. Rub with the butter, then sprinkle with coarse salt.
2. Place the rosemary on a rack in a roasting tin, put the pork on top and roast at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 2 hours.
3. Season the apples to taste inside and make a shallow cut through the skin around the apples about one third of the way down. Place in a tin or dish and baste with some of the fat from the pork. Cook on a lower shelf for the last 30 minutes of the cooking time.
4. Keep the pork warm on a rack. Drain off most of the fat from the roasting tin, leaving the meat juices. Stir in the wine, if using, loosening the sediment at the bottom of the pan. Boil until almost completely evaporated. Stir in the stock and boil for 2 - 3 minutes. Strain into a sauceboat.
5. Arrange the apples around the pork, garnish with watercress and serve accompanied by the gravy.