Succulent roast pork
This recipe is perfect to feed a crowd and the shoulder or gigot of pork are the best cuts to use. This is best served warm.
2kg boneless shoulder or gigot of pork with rind on (at room temperature ); two fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped; 50g mature hard cheese, finely grated; four garlic cloves, finely chopped; four tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, chopped; Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; boiled potatoes and baby carrots, to serve.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190ºC (375ºF ). Open out the pork onto a clean work surface and season generously. Sprinkle over the chopped rosemary, cheese, garlic, and parsley in an even layer. Tightly roll the pork back up to enclose the filling completely.
Tie with string at 2cm 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. Wipe off any excess moisture with kitchen roll and sprinkle with salt.
Place in a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes. For the last 20 minutes of cooking time, increase the oven temperature to gas mark 7, 220ºC (425ºF ), so, if the joint is exactly 2kg, it will take one hour and 40 minutes until cooked through and tender with crispy crackling.
Leave the roast 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 the potatoes and baby carrots. Spoon over the pan juices to serve.
Pot roast meatloaf
The idea for this dish comes from Greece, where oven-roasted beans are served with a roast or good quality sausages. If you don’t fancy the idea of the beans omit them completely and stir the sauce into some pasta or just serve with some jacket potatoes. Serves six.
675g lean minced beef; four tablespoons of olive oil; two onions, finely chopped; three celery sticks, peeled and finely chopped; one teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander; one large egg; 100g fresh white breadcrumbs; one teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme; two garlic cloves, finely chopped; one tablespoon of chopped fresh sage; one red chilli, seeded and finely chopped; two 400g cans of chopped tomatoes; 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed; five rindless streaky bacon rashers; salt and freshly ground black pepper and steamed broccoli, to serve.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 8, 230ºF (450ºF ). Heat half the oil in a frying pan and sauté two-thirds of the onions and celery for five minutes until softened. Stir in the cumin and coriander and cook for another minute, stirring.
Tip the onion mixture into a bowl and add the minced beef, egg, breadcrumbs, and thyme. Using your hands, mix well to combine and then mould into a rugby ball shape. Place in a small ovenproof dish and put in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to gas mark 6, 200ºC (400ºF ), and roast for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the remaining onions and celery with garlic, sage and chilli for about five minutes until softened but not coloured. Season generously. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Fold in the cannellini beans.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and drain off the excess fat, then spoon around the tomato sauce. Lay the slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon is golden brown and the cannellini beans are bubbling.
Serve straight to the table with a bowl of steamed broccoli and allow everyone to help themselves.