Roast loin of pork with cider and apple sauce and tarragon compote
Serves 5 to 6
- 2kg roast loin of pork
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 tbsp groundnut oil
For the cider and apple sauce
- 20ml groundnut oil
- 500g pork bones (ask your butcher), chopped small
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 granny smith apple, chopped
- 300ml dry cider
- 400ml chicken stock
For the apple and tarragon compote
- 6 granny smith apples
- 20g unsalted butter
- 75ml dry cider
- 3 tarragon sprigs, blanched (briefly in boiling water) drained and chopped
- 1-2 tsp soft brown sugar (preferably muscovado)
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Season the pork loin generously with salt, rubbing it in well to encourage a crispy crackling, then season with pepper. Place the roasting tray or large ovenproof pan over a high heat, add the groundnut oil and heat almost to smoking point. Add the pork loin and turn to seal over. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 ½ hours or until cooked through.
- In the meantime, prepare the cider sauce. Place a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat and heat up, and then add the oil. When it is almost smoking, add the pork bones and cook, stirring frequently, until they are deep golden in colour.
- Add the vegetables, garlic and herbs, lower the heat and cook for 8-10 minutes or until softened and golden. Add the chopped apple and cider. Bring to the boil and simmer to reduce by half, and then add the stock. Bring back to the boil, skim and simmer again for 20-25 minutes.
- Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan and simmer to reduce by at least half, to thicken and concentrate the flavour; keep warm. Have your accompaniments ready and hot.
- For the tarragon compote, peel, core and roughly chop the apples. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over a low heat, add the apples and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until they start to release their juice, then add the cider.
- Cover and cook very slowly, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for a further 10-12 minutes or until the apples are just tender but still holding their shape. Take off the heat.
- Add the tarragon and fork through, keeping the apple pieces fairly chunky. Sweeten with a little sugar to taste and leave to cool before serving.
- Remove the pork from the oven, transfer to a warmed platter and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan, and then add the meat juices to the sauce. Carve the pork, first removing the crackling in one piece to make it easier to do so.
- Arrange the pork slices on warmed serving plates. Add a portion of crackling, accompaniments to each plate. Serve immediately with the apple and tarragon compote.