Roast Local Suckling Pig with cider Potatoes, Baked Apple, Braised Cabbage, Smoked Bacon and Herb Juices

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

Rhubarb and Black Pudding

Rhubarb and Black Pudding

By Paul Heathcote and Matthew Fort

Published 1998

  • About

Ingredients

  • 350 g / 12 oz each shoulder, belly and leg from a suckling pig, together with 1 best end (ask the butcher to give you all the bones and trimmings for stock)

For the Pork Stock

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • a little oil
  • 4 tomatoes, blanched, skinned, deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 black peppercorns

For the Herb Juices

  • 5 shallots, finely chopped
  • a little olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 5 sprigs of sage
  • 500 ml / 18 fl oz apple juice
  • 1 litre / pints chicken stock
  • 1 litre / pints veal stock
  • 5 sprigs of tarragon, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Baked Apples

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, topped and tailed
  • 175 g / 6 oz sultana and apple chutney
  • 115 g / 4 oz caster sugar

For the Cider Potatoes

  • 6 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into slices 2.5 cm / 1 inch thick
  • 1 litre / pints sweet cider
  • 50 g / 2 oz butter

For the Braised Cabbage

  • 450 g / 1 lb cabbage, separated
  • 100 g / oz smoked bacon, blanched and chopped
  • 50 g / 2 oz butter
  • 50 g / 2 oz shallots, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Remove the bone and any sinew from the shoulder. Chine the best end, leaving 6 bones. Cut the meat from the belly pork and trim to neaten. Remove the bone from leg and remove any sinew. (You can ask your butcher to do all this for you.)
  2. Make the pork stock: roast the bones until golden in colour, about 20 minutes. Sweat the onion, garlic, carrot and celery briefly in a little oil in a large heavy pan, until softened but not coloured. Add the bones, tomatoes and peppercorns. Toss to coat, then just cover with water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, skimming from time to time. Sieve and return to the pan, then boil rapidly to reduce down to about 1 litre / pints.
  3. At the same time, put the meat to roast at the same oven setting for about 1 hour, until the skin is crispy and the meat is cooked through. Add the best end halfway through,
  4. When the pork stock is ready, make the herb juices: in a large pan, sweat the shallots in a little oil with the thyme and half the sage until softened but not coloured. Add the apple juice and reduce down until the liquid has a syrupy consistency. Add the pork stock and chicken stock and reduce again by two-thirds. Add the veal stock and reduce until it has a good pouring sauce consistency. Chop the remaining sage and the tarragon finely, add to the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm.
  5. Prepare the Baked Apples: using a melon bailer, take out the cores from the apples. Fill the centre of the apples with chutney. Dust well with caster sugar and bake in the coolest part of the oven with the pork towards the end of its cooking time until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust again with caster sugar and place under a hot grill until golden in colour. Keep warm.
  6. Make the Cider Potatoes: cut the potato slices into rounds using a 5-cm / 2-inch diameter circular cutter. Place in a large pan and cover with cider. Add the butter and salt to taste. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Gently reduce the liquid until it is syrupy and the potatoes have started to caramelize, turning them until they are nicely golden all over. If the potatoes are coloured but not cooked, add a little water and repeat the process. Remove the potatoes from the pan and keep warm.
  7. Braise the cabbage: blanch the cabbage leaves until tender and refresh in iced water. Drain and shred finely. Place the butter in a pan, add the bacon lardons and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and sweat until softened but not coloured. Add the shredded cabbage and cook gently for a minute or so. Season.
  8. To serve: put a baked apple to one side of each plate and some cider potatoes to the other. Make a mound of cabbage in the centre. Slice the pork shoulder, leg and belly and arrange on top of the cabbage with a cutlet on top of that. Pour the herb juices around.