Roast Loin of Pork with Crushed Potatoes

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You will see that I recommend cooking the pork only until it is just still barely pink to avoid drying it out. Fortunately the days of worrying about pink pork are almost entirely gone, as better welfare on pig farms has led to the virtual elimination of the trichinosis parasite. Pigs are also now bred to be much leaner – almost to the detriment of the pork – so dryness is much more of a concern.

Ingredients

  • 1 (6-bone) loin of pork (not too fatty)
  • Handful of Maldon salt, crushed
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Splash of vegetable oil
  • A few drops of lemon juice (optional)

For the Crushed Potatoes

  • 8 large Maris Piper potatoes, unpeeled
  • Salt
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 onions, diced and cooked in butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Method

Well ahead, start preparing the potatoes. Put them, unpeeled, in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, then simmer very gently until almost cooked through. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3½.

Score the rind on the pork equally between the cutlet bones down towards the meat so that each chop has a good piece of fat. Rub the salt and pepper all over the rind, getting it in between the incisions. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow the seasonings to penetrate.

Heat the vegetable oil in a roasting pan until very hot. Add the pork, skin side down, and start to crisp the rind. This will take 5–10 minutes. Then lift the pork upright, so the bones are sticking up, and roast in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Pork can be eaten slightly pink (see above), which stops it being tough and dry. Allow to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

Towards the end of the pork cooking time, peel the now-cool potatoes and cut them into slices 1 cm. thick. Sauté these slices in hot butter until golden and crisp around the edges. Add the cooked onions and garlic, and continue to sauté until potatoes are crisp all over. Now crush the potatoes with a fork and continue to sauté until they resemble crushed roast potatoes. Season and serve.

Add a splash of water to the roasting pan, put over a high heat and scrape the sediment with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper, and possibly a few drops of lemon juice.

Serve the chops with some of this pan gravy and the crushed potatoes.

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