Happy New Year one and all! I am really excited to bring today’s recipe to you as it highlights two special things I picked up at the Bath Christmas markets last month. First, I want to talk about this awesome cider I picked up from the Honey’s Midford Cider stall. I happened to be there on the last day, and these jugs were only £5, so I thought I could definitely do that! Turns out, this cider is PERFECT for braising or slow cooking pork. This was very smooth, and in my opinion, only a hint of dryness and not too sweet. It was also still, which made it a perfect accompaniment for anything savory. With that in mind, I thought some slow cooked pork would be a great recipe to bring in the new year. Here is what you’ll need:
- 1kg pork joint
- 20 oz (~1 standard bottle) cider
- 1 onion
- Olive or vegetable oil
- Thyme, salt, & pepper
First, roughly chop the onion. For this recipe, I like to use big chunks.
Next, light sauté the onions in a table spoon of olive oil. Place on the bottom of your slow cooker and set to medium.
Next, massage the joint with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. In the same pan you used for the onions, sear the meat on all sides. Place in the slow cooker on top of the onions.
You will then pour the cider into the searing pan to deglaze anything that stuck to the bottom. This ensures you get every bit of flavoring into the roast.
Pour the cider from the pan into the slow cooker. I threw in some potatoes as well, then sprinkled some thyme over the lot. Let it cook for about 6 hours. You may need a longer cooking time for a larger piece of meat.
Now for the fun part. Yes, you can serve it up as is, but I like gravy and a bit of cracklin’. If this sounds like you too, put the roast in a dish and put under the broiler to get that top skin nice and crispy. You can add a bit more salt to the top which will help it crackle by drawing the moisture out from the fat.
You’ll see it start to bubble and pop and when you’re satisfied with the crispness, take it out.
After I took mine out, I thought I want it really crispy, like a chicharon. So I took off the rest of the skin and cooked it some more. I simply put it on a roasting tray, crispy side down with just a sprinkle more of salt on the softer side, broiling it for another 15 minutes.
Then I was like, you know what? I want gravy to go with my pork, pig skin, and potatoes. Simply take out the potatoes from the slow cooker, then pour the remaining liquid into a sauce pan. Reduce the liquid to about half of what you had. Add some flour, whisking until smooth and thick, sprinkling more flour until you reach the desired consistency.
And there you have it! Slow cooked cider pork with a bit of cracklin’ and cider gravy. The meat was super tender and the gravy really pulled it together. It was tangy and smooth, just like the notes in the cider that was used to make it. This meal definitely was a great way to start the new year!
We also had some chutney to accompany the dish made by The Victorian Kitchen. I picked up a jar of The Cardinal’s Christmas Chutney as I finally found a chutney I like. I can say, it’s not something I’m usually a fan of. However I like this one as it was more savory than sweet, thus pairing perfectly with any roasted meat served up over the holidays. I picked this up at the Bath Christmas Market. They have a website, so check them out if you don’t happen to live in the southwest but still want to taste what they have on offer. I also got some cranberry sauce with port and tried the passion fruit curd which was devine!
One last thing to add, if like me, you love taking leftovers to have at work. Because this meat was so tender, it made perfect pulled pork sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch. Simply shred it with a fork. I then added the rest of the gravy, and smothered it with some Stubb’s BBQ sauce. It was just too easy! That should keep us all satisfied for a day or two, eh? Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!