Roast Pork Spiked with Spinach and Ginger with Gooseberry Sauce

Pork can be a dry meat but spiking it with spinach and fresh ginger gives it both moisture and flavour. The gooseberry sauce, flavoured with lager and tasting both sharp and slightly sweet, complements the pork perfectly.

Ingredients

  • 1.35-1.6 kg/3-3½ lb boneless pork joint
  • 100 g/4 oz fresh spinach
  • 5 cm/2 in piece fresh ginger
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • a little olive oil
  • 225 g/8 oz gooseberries
  • 1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 300 ml/½ pint lager
  • 2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8. Using a sharp knife, make several deep incisions in the joint of pork. If the butcher has not already done it, score the thick skin thoroughly.

Wash the spinach and remove the stalks, then chop the leaves up finely. Peel the ginger and 2 cloves of the garlic and chop finely. Mix the chopped spinach, ginger and garlic together in a bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Press this mixture right down into the incisions in the meat with your fingers. Then smear olive oil all over the meat but not on the skin. Rub the skin with sea salt to give a good crackling and sprinkle with water.

Put the joint in a roasting pan with the skin upwards and cook on a high shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, then move it to the centre of the oven, turn the heat down to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and cook for another 2 hours, basting occasionally and sprinkling the skin with a bit more water.

Meanwhile, top and tail the gooseberries and peel and chop the remaining clove of garlic. Put both into a saucepan with the caster sugar, lemon juice, lager, cayenne pepper and a little sprinkling of salt. Bring to bubbling over the heat, cover the pan and simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes or until the gooseberries have softened.

When the meat has been cooking for 2 hours, carefully pour just the fat out of the roasting pan and add the gooseberry mixture to the pan juices. Return to the oven for half an hour, then transfer the joint to a carving board. Stir the chopped chives into the gooseberry mixture and pour into a bowl to serve as a sauce with the carved pork.

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