Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Stuffed Roasted De-Boned Shoulder of Pork ….. The Main Course In Our Christmas Lunch
December 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
This is dish number two – the Main course of our Christmas lunch/ dinner from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls new cook book River Cottage everyday. This recipe is from the “Thrifty Meat” chapter so you won’t need a second bond on your home to go and buy this cut of meat as it’s not terribly expensive. I bought this from my butcher in Davenport Centre and the de-boned shoulder of pork cost me just on R198, 00 and weighed in just over 3kg’s. The shoulder has plenty of meat and a muscle and a nice amount of fat to keep it moist and juicy and will go a long way – I reckon, as part of a 3 course meal – this would easily feed 10 – 12 people. In fact this cut of pork ticks all the boxes – a golden cloak of crispy – salty jaw breaking-filling removing crackling holding in the spicy apple and chestnut stuffing and all of it bathed in tangy cider and yuletide herbs …. Your kitchen will be ringing with the sounds and smells of Christmas and you’ll be God Bless Thee Gerry Mentlemen-ing in a flash. Remember that this cut of meat requires long and slow cooking to get it nice and tender – so make sure that you have a good 6 hours to cook it – you don’t want to be under pressure on Christmas Eve or day – this could go into the oven late night and gently cook away till early morning. That reminds me – I shall also post my Christmas Eve “Zabaione-Zappers!” – The perfect tipple to wash down some traditional Italian Panetone or Pandoro.
Hugh is a great food sage for whom I have a deep respect and I quote his wise words, ‘Meat is the most precious of foods, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it has its special status by virtue of being the flesh of animals which must be killed in order to provide it I won’t reprise the several hundred pages I spent exploring the thee in The River Cottage Meat Book, but I will summarise thus: to my mind, in order to feel good about meat, we have to feel good or at the very least okay about how the animals who provided it have lived and died. My preferred way to do that is to raise the animals myself. But it can also be done simply by buying meat from trustworthy sources that you know place a vital emphasis on the importance of good animal husbandry..’’
Slow-Roast boned shoulder of Pork with Chestnut Stuffing
Serves 10 – 12
1 boned shoulder of Pork – 3kg (get your butcher to score the skin for you)
Plenty of fresh Thyme – Rosemary and Sage
3Tbs of rapeseed or olive oil
1 glass of dry cider – I used 2 bottles of Hunters Dry
250 – 350 ml of chicken or pork stock
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground pepper
3 large onions – unpeeled and cut in half
For the Chestnut Stuffing
A knob of butter
2 onions finely chopped
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
2-3 stalks celery finely chopped
2 Cox’s or other tart eating apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
250 peeled cooked chestnuts, roughly mashed with a fork
2Tbs finely chopped Sage
2Tbs finely chopped Rosemary
2Tbs finely chopped Thyme
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 medium egg
½ tsp of grated nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and celery and sweat for 10 – 15 minutes until softened. Remove from the heat, add the apples, chestnuts, herbs, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, egg and 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper. Leave to cool.
Lay out the bones pork shoulder, skin side up, on a work surface. If the butcher hasn’t already done so, score the skin at 1,5cm intervals with a sharp knife (a Stanley knife set to about 5mm is the tool for the job).
Turn the meat over and spread the stuffing evenly over the flash leaving a margin around the edge, You will have some stuffing left over – the can be packed into a buttered ovenproof dish and put in the oven for the last 30 minutes of the pork’s cooking time.
Roll the meat up and tie securely in several places with string. Put your onion halves into the bottom of the roasting tin with plenty of sage, thyme rosemary, a chicken stock cube and the two bottles of cider it into a smallish roasting tin (this ensures the juices don’t reduce and blacken too much). Trickle the oil over the skin, season well with sea salt flakes and pepper, then massage the oil and seasoning well into the skin with your fingers. (You want to get that salt in between the cuts in the skin to make sure that it crisps up well in the oven). Put in an oven preheated to 220C/ Gas Mark 7 for a 40 minute ‘sizzle’.
Remove from the oven – check your cider and seasoning and put back into the oven at 140C/ Gas Mark 1 and cook slowly for 4 – 5 hours until the meat is very tender, then raise the heat to 190C / Gas Mark 5 and roast for another 20-30 minutes to crisp up the crackling. Transfer the pork to a warm dish and leave to rest, uncovered in a warm place for 20 minutes.
You will have plenty of liquid left in your roasting tin – bring them to the boil and reduce down (this takes about 20minutes) and when ready strain out the herbs and onion to reveal a tasty gravy. You could also reduce by half and thicken with flour if you wish.
Carve – you can either cut the crackling from the pork and break it into large pieces or if you have an electric carving knife you can cut thick slices and halve them to serve them. The pork should be tender enough to spoon or tear into thick shreds. Serve with the crackling, gravy and your choice of veggies.
I served my pork with:
Potatoes roasted with garlic and rosemary
Butternut roasted with loads of cinnamon, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper
Peas with garlic & Rosemary.
So there you have a Chilled Beetroot & Cumin soup that can be made up to 48 hours in advance – ready in your fridge and this rolled de-boned shoulder of pork can go into the oven late at night on Christmas Eve – or early morning for a late lunch. Next recipe I am posting is the Cranachan that’s berry & boozyliscious and can also be made in advance. This menu will neither break your bank balance nor your back on Christmas day………… “Joy to the World”.
If you wish to order this book its available on Kalahari.net here this link will take you right to
this cookbook which any cook would love to find in his or her christmas stocking!