This is definitely one of my favourite recipes in the book. It's made using pork shoulder, an inexpensive cut that, when cooked in this manner, results in wonderfully tender meat and crispy crackling. If the idea of rolling and stringing up the shoulder around the stuffing is too much, take the stuffing with you to the butcher when you buy the meat and ask for it to be stuffed and rolled for you. Then it's simply a case of roasting it.
- 2.75 kg (6lb) boneless shoulder of pork (with skin, at room temperature)
- small handful of sage leaves
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 50 g (2oz) parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- root veg mash and spinach, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). If the shoulder of pork has been tied, cut the strings and open out the meat onto a clean work surface, then season generously with sea salt and ground black pepper.
- Remove and discard the stems from the sage leaves, and strip the leaves off the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Finely chop all the leaves, then toss in a bowl with the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, garlic and onion.
- Sprinkle the stuffing mixture over the laid-out pork and then, starting with one side, tightly roll the pork back up to enclose the filling completely. Tie with string at 2cm (¾in) intervals to keep the meat in shape. If the skin is not already scored, use a small, sharp knife to score the skin between the strings. Pat the skin dry with kitchen roll and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Place in a roasting tin and roast for 2 hours 20 minutes until cooked through and tender. (If the weight of your pork varies from mine, the rule is to allow 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz, plus an additional 20 minutes.) For the final 20 minutes of cooking time, increase the oven temperature to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7), to produce the crispy crackling.
- Leave the roasted pork to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes, as it is actually best served warm. Carve into thin slices and arrange on warmed plates with some root veg mash and spinach. Spoon over the pan juices to serve.