Prep 1 hr
Cook 3 hrs 20 mins
Capture the flavours of autumn with this roast accompanied by pears or by a variation including apples and plums (see VARIATION at the end of the instructions). The caramelised honey sauce can be made ahead of serving the meat. Recipe source is the 'Good Food' magazine November 2003. I made this dish together with my English friend Fiona for her family in 2003 and everybody loved it. I have not made it since because I live on my own and this is really a family meal. I hope you'll enjoy this autumn roast.
for the PORK
- 3 kg boned pork legs (6lb 8oz)
- olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
for the HONEY SAUCE
- 25 g butter (1oz)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 200 ml dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc (7fl oz)
- 300 g fresh chicken stock
for the PEARS
- 50 g butter (2oz)
- 4 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 6 slightly under ripe pears, halved and cored but not peeled
- Preheat the oven to fan 210°C/conventional 230°C (450°F)/gas 8. Score the skin of the pork with a very sharp knife in slashes about 5mm apart, cutting through the skin but not right through the fat - better still, ask your butcher to do it for you as the slashing is part of the secret of good crackling. Rub a little oil all over the meat with your hands, then scatter with the rosemary and season well.
- Re-shape the pork into a joint, tie it at intervals with string then put it in a roasting tin and rub the skin first with oil and then generously with salt (preferably flakes). Roast for 30 minutes to get the crackling going, then turn the oven down to fan 170°C (330°F)/conventional 190°C/gas 5, and roast for a further 2 hours 40 minutes for medium or 3 hours for well done. Don't baste or you won't get nice crisp crackling.
- To make the HONEY SAUCE:.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the carrot, celery and onion. Cook in the butter until they are just starting to brown, then quickly add the peppercorns. Spoon in the honey, increase the heat, and cook until you smell the honey caramelising, then add the vinegar - the mixture will spit. Pour in the wine and boil to reduce until there is only a little liquid left. Stir in the stock and boil to reduce again until you have a slightly syrupy gravy. Strain and set aside.
- Start the pears 10 minutes before the pork is due to come out of the oven. Melt the butter, sugar and vinegar in a large frying pan, toss in the pears and turn them in the mixture for a minute or two until coated.
- FINISHING TOUCHES:.
- When the pork is cooked, lift from the tin, cover and leave to rest out of the oven for 30 minutes before carving. Increase the oven to fan 180°C/conventional 200°C/gas 6. Skim the fat off the juices in the tin, then tip the juices into the honey sauce. Put the pears in the tin, spoon over the sugar mixture, then roast for 20-25 minutes. Serve the pork in the tin or on a roasting platter with the roast pears around it, and the vegetables and honey sauce alongside.
- Replace half the pears with apple halves, then throw some whole plums in for the last 10 minutes of cooking.