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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunday Lunch Special - Roast Pork Dinner

Tonight I went back to my early childhood with dinner. We used to go to our Grandpa and Nanna's every so often for Sunday lunch and almost without fail, because of our convict background I suspect, we'd have a roast dinner. Either lamb or pork with crackling.

These days pork isn't what it used to be 25 or 30 years ago. Because of the way society has changed pork has been bred to be leaner than it used to be, but you can still enjoy a throwback to, at least my, childhood.

For this recipe your best bet is to get a boned shoulder. If you can't get that, you can do what I did and get a piece of pork belly and either stuff and roll it or roll it around a small pork loin.

If you use a pork belly or boned shoulder, you're better off scoring it before you roll it. Use a very sharp knife or like me, a razor blade. Just make sure you wash the razor blade first!!

You only want to get through the skin, DON'T cut through the meat at all. Score it about 1cm (1/2") apart.

Once you've scored your meat, you're going to have to shape it. As I mentioned, I rolled mine around a loin.

Next, you'll have to tie it. This "technique" can be used for any meat dish that you need to tie. Here is a very good explanation from Bon Appetit: How to tie meat Here are a couple of photo's so you get the idea.

Now that you've scored and rolled the roast, you need to salt it. All you have to do is get salt (I used kosher salt because I can't get cooking salt here.) and rub it all over the skin. Don't use too much or all you'll end up tasting is salt.

While you're buggering around with your pork, you need to pre-heat your oven to 500F (260C). Now just put your roast on a rack in the roasting pan and put it in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes, until the skin is blistering and crackling.

After 20 - 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350F (180C) for the rest of the cooking time. Now, you want to roast your meat for 30 minutes for every 500g (1lb) plus an extra 30 minutes. So it's important to weigh or have weighed your roast so you know how long to cook it for.

We also had roast veggies with ours, potato, butternut, sweet potato and carrots. Just make sure you cut the veggies about the same size. I just put about a tablespoon or so of oil in another roasting pan and pre-heated that in the oven while I prepared the veggies. Put the pan on the shelf above the roast 1 hour before the end of the cooking time. When there's 30 minutes to go, take out the veggies, turn them over and put them back in the oven.

Hopefully, when the timer goes off, your meat will look something like this.

Of course you'll want to have gravy with your roast, so why not make it from scratch. It will taste so much better than anything that comes out of a packet and is very simple to make.

Put your roast on a plate and return it to the oven to rest. Make sure you've turned the oven off!!!!

Pour off all but 1-2 tablespoons of the meat drippings from the pan and put that on the stove over a medium-ish heat. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of AP flour (Plain flour) and mix that thoroughly with the drippings, making sure you scrape the bottom of the roasting pan. (That's where some of the best flavours are!)

Let that cook off for a couple of minutes, then add, a bit at a time, some mild beef or vegetable stock. I say mild beef stock, because you don't want the gravy to overpower the meat and veggies, just compliment it. If you're having boiled veggies, you can use the vegetable water in the gravy.

As you add the liquid, make sure you stir it constantly so you don't end up with lumps. I usually add some stock and stir until it gets thick, add some more stock and stir, etc, etc. You'll need 2 cups of whatever liquid you are using. Once you've used all the liquid, turn your burner down and let the gravy simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring every now and again to break up and "skin" that forms on top.

When your gravy is done, all you need to do is carve your meat and plate up.

So there you go. A fairly typical Australian/New Zealand/English Sunday lunch or a great dinner when the weather turns cold.

Hope you enjoy.



  1. That looks FANTASTIC, Matt!! I don't think I've ever done a big pork roast like that, but with your pics, I can probably give it a go!


  2. That looks fantastic - I think it might be on the cards very soon in our house!!