I know I wanted to save this recipe for last for the past few months. Overnight slow-roasted pork reads and sounds like a great celebration meal. And I just know it will be delicious. Slow-cooked meat? yum...
At Jamie's restaurant, the staff prepare the pork in the evening and let it roasts overnight, and so the next day the pork will be meltingly tender, ready to be served for lunch service.
I didn't roast the pork overnight, because I was preparing it for my dinner service. I let the pork roasting all morning and afternoon, and maybe I should call the dish All day slow-roasted pork instead.
Another reason why I saved this recipe for last was because this is so simple to prepare and once the pork is in the oven, I can forget about it and get on with my day, preparing other things for the 'last supper'.
I cut the recipe in half even though Jamie says this recipe only works for a whole shoulder, but come on, that's just way too much food for the four of us. I don't like wasting food and I don't want to be pork overdosed.
This is how I prepared the pork: pre-heat the oven to maximum. On a large roasting tray, lay roughly chopped fennel, carrots, a bulb of garlic (unpeeled and smashed) and a bunch of fresh thyme. Pat the pork shoulder with olive oil and sit it on top of the vegetables. Now massage some smashed fennel seeds and salt into the skin of the pork, making sure to push them right into the scores to maximize the flavour.
Put the pork into the oven for 20-30 minutes until it's beginning to colour, then turn the oven to low and cook the pork for 7 - 8 hours, until the meat is soft and sticky and you can pull it apart easily with a fork.
I spent the afternoon out in town and when I went back home, the smell coming out from the oven was just amazing...
In the last hour of cooking, tip a bottle of white wine into the roasting tray and this will become part of the gravy. Once the pork is out of the oven, like all meat, let it rest before cutting into it (if I could resist the temptation, so can you... be strong!).
To make the gravy, I sieved the juices from the tray and got rid of the excess fat. Pour into a pan with chicken stock and let it cook for a bit. It's entirely up to you if you want to thicken the gravy with a little butter and flour, but it's rather nice to have light gravy. I served the pork with borlotti beans and braised greens.
The pork was absolutely gorgeous, meltingly tender as promised; and the crackling, oh the crackling was so crunchy, the way crackling should be. I'd happily make this again for Christmas, or whenever I have an army of people to feed.
I had a great night with lots to drink and eat and yes, even after cutting the recipe in half, I was still left with plenty of leftovers.
So, that's all the recipes... all done! Yay!!
Don't worry, I'm not finish yet. I still have to do my reflections on two more chapters before closing the project.
Enjoy your day.
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