You scarcely notice, or draw your eyes away, as a slice of that tender white meat is placed on a plate. But then the plate is set beguilingly before you. You carve off a morsel. What follows then is pleasure. Pure pleasure.
The fall is upon us; there’s crispness in the air. Gone is the warm summer breeze, gone the lazy afternoons. A cool wind is blowing in.
A smell of roasted pork meets you as you open your front door. You head for the kitchen, and your eyes come to rest on a succulent leg of pork, perfectly roasted, silently waiting on the kitchen counter. A layer of crispy crackling on top glistens as the light catches it.
You watch as the roast is carved and listen as the carving knife breaks through the crackling to the juicy, tender meat beneath. Time is suspended as a slice falls to the platter. And then another slice. And another.
You scarcely notice, or draw your eyes away, as a slice of that tender, white meat is placed on a plate with a strip of crackling. But then the plate is set beguilingly before you. Freshly made, warm applesauce is spooned over the pork and onto the plate.
You press your fork and then your knife into the tender meat and carve off a morsel. What follows then is pleasure. Pure pleasure.
10 pound leg of pork
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, halved with skin on
1 can cider (Strongbow)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Leave the leg of pork on the counter for a couple of hours; you need to bring it up to room temperature. Dry the pork thoroughly with a paper towel.
Using a sharp knife (I use a Stanley blade), score the skin around finger-widths apart; do not cut through to the meat. Rub the skin with the olive oil, ensuring it goes down into the slashes. Sprinkle with sea salt, again making sure some salt falls into the slits.
Place the pork on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cut the onion in half and put the pieces at each end of the rack. Pour the can of cider into the rack. Sprinkle pepper over the tray.
Place the pork in the oven for 30 minutes, until the skin starts to bubble. Then turn the thermostat down to 350 degrees. Allow 25 minutes per pound, and check at the appropriate time. When the juices run clear, or at the correct temperature, remove the pork in its pan from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
I served the roast pork the other day with fresh roasted potatoes, carrots and beets, French beans, and of course gravy. It makes for a meal you’ll want to share with friends.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications.