Monday, 18 June 2012

Slow Roast Shoulder of Pork in Cider. Mashed Potato, Green Sauce

It’s been far too long since I featured any recipes on the blog. Hopefully this post goes some small way to rectifying matters. Here’s something simple, but very decent we served to our guests this past weekend, at ‘The Basement’, the Bristol supper club I run with ‘E’.

Shoulder of pork is a fairly inexpensive cut, and doesn’t really need a hell of a lot doing with it, apart from a few timely interventions, it can be left to it’s own devices for hours in the oven until it’s practically falling apart and of course, there’s the added bonus of crackling, to really give those fillings a good workout.

A thick slab of tender pork, partnered with the almost rasping, herby pungency of green sauce. An aesthetically pleasing dollop of creamy mashed potato and finally, a spoonful of the porky-cidery cooking juices. You have an absolutely winning plate of food.

The Green sauce recipe is from St John. The mashed potato recipe is my own.

I am a total mash potato fiend and have gradually perfected what I modestly consider to be second only (just) to Joel Robuchon’s famous pureed pomme. Tried and tested at countless ‘Basement’s. This is the first time I’ve shared it with anyone.

Slow Roast Shoulder of Pork in Cider
Serves 6

1.5 kilo pork shoulder, boned, rolled, skin scored.
1 bulb garlic, broken up into cloves. (leave the skin on)
6 bay leaves
750ml dry cider
2 tbsp fennel seeds, bashed

Preheat the oven to 220C

Pat dry the pork with kitchen towel and place in a deep ovenproof dish
Shower it liberally with the fennel seeds, sea salt and black pepper. Be generous, giving it a good-old-all-over-rub-in.

Cook in the oven for 40 mins.

Remove from the oven, and transfer the pork momentarily to a plate.
Drain off the excess fat from the ovenproof dish and toss in the bay leaves and garlic cloves.

Place the pork back in its rightful place, and pour the cider around the sides of it.
Cover with foil and return to the oven at 160C. Cook for three-four hours (most likely four).
By this time, the pork should smell amazing and be practically falling apart.

Don’t forget to leave it to rest, covered in foil for about 20 mins before serving.
If the crackling is soft, take it off and put it in on a tray, in the oven at 220C for 10 mins. It should crisp up.

It’d also be a good idea to ladle off some of the porky cider juices from the pan, pour into a saucepan, boiling vigorously, reducing to make a nice syrupy gravy to pour over your meat when you serve up.


Of course, while all this was going on, and your pork was cooking away in the oven for hours, you had ample time to knock up your accompanying green sauce and mashed potato.

Green Sauce
Serves 6 (generously)

Half a bunch of curly parsley
Half a bunch of flat leaf parsley
Half a bunch of mint
A quarter bunch of dill
Couple of sprigs of tarragon leaves
1 small tin of anchovy fillets – finely chopped
12 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 handful of capers, roughly chopped (if extra fine, keep whole).
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper
Lemon juice (optional)


Chop the herbs finely, but not too finely, by hand (if you blitz them up by mechanical means, you’ll end up with a slurry).
Mix with the anchovy, garlic and capers. Add olive oil until it’s a loose, spoonable consistency. Season with black pepper and salt if it needs some.
Diverging a little from the original St John recipe, we added a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

Dan’s Famous Mashed Potato
Serves 6 (Easily)

9 maris piper potatoes
400ml full fat milk
150g butter
12 tbsp double cream (180ml)
Sea salt
Freshly ground white Pepper

Peel and dice the potatoes into rough 2cm cubes.
Place in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, add salt and simmer for 12 minutes or until tender.

Drain well, and then using a potato ricer crush back into the empty pan. (If you don’t have a ricer, get one, they’re awesome. Otherwise, mash wildly in a traditional fashion with lots of elbow grease…. don’t leave any lumps).

Put the pan back on a low heat, for two minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
In a separate saucepan, heat the milk till it’s almost boiling. Gradually pour into your potatoes, stirring it in.

Add the cream. Keep stirring whilst on the heat, for three or four mins.
Turn the hob off.

Cut the butter into cubes, and gradually stir into your mash until it’s been absorbed.

Taste and season generously with salt and white pepper. The choice of pepper is important, mash must have white pepper. Don’t ask why, just accept it.

Your mash should be creamy and oozy, but still form a nice generous dollop when slapped onto a plate.

Do this now.

Place a generous, inch thick slab of pork astride it, at a jaunty angle. Spoon some green sauce over the pork, drizzle over a tablespoonful or so of your reduced cider cooking juices. Don’t forget the crackling.

Eat it all up.

13 comments:

Lynne Clark said...

Can I have seconds pls?

Platter said...

White pepper in mash. Always. They should call it mash pepper.

FatFran said...

9 potatoes...how heavy? Sometimes Maris Pipers are teeny, sometimes HUGE. I just got 3 for 1kg, for example.

Dan said...

Lynne Clark - With all that mash? Almost definitely.

Platter - So true. White pepper or just give up and go home.

Fat Fran - I don't normally weigh them out. You're after 9 fist sized potatoes I guess, so medium. (unless you have hands like shovels). It doesn't matter if it's not too exact.

bigspud said...

The choice of white pepper is spot on. That gentle nose-burning tickle you get from white pepper is exactly right in bland mash.

Shu Han said...

I couldn't not click on this to read on after I saw it pop up in my feed. The pork sounds awesome but I'm after that mashed potato recipe. Looks so wonderfully creamy and velvety in that picture. Been trying quite a few out recently, this is a lot simpler than heston's absolutely nuts one, will give it a go.

Also may just try the green sauce too. I always struggle to find a use for curly parsley besides decoration.

Paul Hart said...

Sexy stuff Dan!

Dan said...

Bigspud - White pepper all the frigging way. I suspect I have a penchant for it due to the dusting I've always given pie and mash. Anything else is just plain wrong.

Shu Han - Haven't tried Hestons recipe. Forget that if it's mad, use mine. I guarantee it'll do the job.

Paul Hart - Thanks very much. Pork in all its forms is always muchos sexy.

Easy Flapjack Recipes said...

Sounds delicious for this recipes! It's make me hungry :) i can't wait to eat this!

Phil said...

I did something similar to this a few weeks back. I asked for extra pork bones from the butcher and put these under the pork, along with the bones from a chicken carcass. The gravy was excellent.

London Cooking Classes said...

This looks absolutely scrummy! What a coincidence that I was thinking of preparing something very much alike for this weekend for my cousins who are visiting. Great cooks think alike! :)

Sarah said...

Wow...looks lush. I'm a mash fiend too. Will give yours a go! I definitely second the thought about ricers. I've done slow roast lamb masses of times, but never pork. Maybe this'll be the one to try out!

tentonipete said...

enjoyed eating this last night.

green sauce is similar to one from a leon cookbook:

mint, parsley, coriander, capers, mustard,anchovy fillet, lemon juice & olive oil