A feast for me is a time of celebration shared with loved ones. Sharing a meal with your nearest and dearest that has been prepared with the utmost love and care is one of life’s real pleasures. Special celebrations call for a special menu and this pork wholeheartedly deserves to be be centerpiece at any feast. It is an absolute treat, packed with festive flavours, is meltingly tender and complete with sinfully crispy crackling – go on, just have a little piece!
Roast Loin of Pork with festive stuffing and baked apples
1 brown onion, finely diced.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
150g dried apricots
150g dried cranberries
Zest of 1 orange + 2 Tbsp juice
2 Granny Smith apples, grated.
½ cup coarsely chopped herbs (parsley, sage and thyme)
¾ cup chopped pistachios
50g melted butter
3 cups coarse breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Pork and trimmings
1 loin of pork (2 – 2.5kg)
8 x small apples
1. Gently sauté the onion and garlic in a pan till cooked but not browned. Allow to cool.
2. Place cooled onion mixture and all other ingredients for the stuffing in a large bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
To assemble and roast
1. Preheat the oven to 250°C
2. Place the loin of pork on a board skin side up and dry well with paper towels.
3. Score the pork skin lengthwise only just through the top layer of fat, not into the flesh, around 1cm apart. A razor blade is ideal, but a small sharp knife will also do the job.
4. Rub salt liberally over the pork skin and into the scores.
5. Ensure the surface is as dry as possible and turn the pork over.
6. Pack the stuffing firmly onto the pork, covering the entire surface except for the eye end.
7. Carefully roll from the eye end and secure with twine.
8. Place the pork with the seam down in a roasting dish and pat the skin dry again with paper towels (the secret to the crackling is in the dryness and the saltiness).
9. Place pork in the oven and roast for 35 min.
10. Turn the oven down to 175°C and continue to roast. Add the apples to the pan for the last 40 min of cooking.
Cover with foil and rest for 15min before carving.
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