Autumn has well and truly arrived here in Melbourne and the evenings are becoming cooler. It is time to start thinking and preparing more soulful and comforting food. Today is Friday and it is the end of the working week. My family gathers together and we always enjoy a home cooked dinner with some lovely wine to compliment the dish that I have prepared.
I bought a beautiful shoulder of pork from my local butcher and I am going to slowly roast it for four hours. Once roasted, the meat will be juicy, succulent and served with roasted vegetables. The rind was removed on this occasion (much to my disappointment, as I love crispy crackling and we all fight for it in the family). The meat has a beautiful layer of fat which I will lovingly nurture whilst it is roasting to give us a little bit of crispiness. I did go on a bit of a hunt for an extra piece of rind to cook separately, I was in luck and managed to find a small piece. What joy, crackling, yum!
1.3kg shoulder of pork (boneless)
1 teaspoon five spice
2 teaspoons salt (rubbing into the fat & rind)
extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet potato
4 parsnips (small)
2 medium Spanish onions
4 medium capsicums (2 red & 2 yellow)
2 bunches of asparagus
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation Time: 10 minutes + Ensure that the meat is out of fridge for at least 30 minutes or longer
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Serves: 4-6 people
Preheat oven to 150°C for approximately 15 minutes.
Pat dry the piece of pork with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, score the rind/fat on diagonal at 6mm intervals. Combine the salt and five spice, rub the salt mixture in the scored fat/rind. Peel and cut the sweet potato into large pieces and then in half. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the roasting tray, neatly place the sweet potatoes flat side down, then lay the pork on top. Cover with aluminium foil and place in the oven. Check the meat, baste with the pan juices every 40 minutes. When the roast has finished cooking remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Peel and wash all the vegetables and pat dry. In a large baking tray add some olive oil. Cut the parsnips in half, carrots into large pieces, quarter the Spanish onions, cut the capsicums in half, remove the ends, pips and then quarter. Arrange all the vegetables in the tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle a little more olive oil on top and place in the oven to cook for the last hour with the pork. The vegetables should cook for at least 50 minutes before adding the asparagus. Coat the asparagus with olive oil before adding them to the vegetables and allow to roast for a further 10 minutes or less.
For beautiful crispy skin, place the rind on a separate tray, put the grill on high and cook until the skin becomes golden, crunchy and bubbly. This may take five to ten minutes. Keep an eye on the skin so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from the grill and place aside. Add the crispy skin to the pork for 20 minutes before you remove the roast from the oven.
Unfortunately, the crackling was eaten before I served the pork (whilst the meat was resting). I will endeavour to tie up my family’s hands……. That should do it! I will then be able to take a photo. Perhaps next time?