Roasted meat is the key ingredient to any Sunday dinner, and roasted pork is particularly delicious. The perfect roast should have a crusty outside (crispy crackling for pork) and lots of tender, juicy meat inside. In this article, we provide tips for roasting meat, as well as a recipe for pork roast.
Choosing your joint
Choice of cuts
It's important to consider which of the pork cuts you want to cook with. Pork loin or the thick end of a leg is perfect for serving a large family. Belly pork and shoulder joint can be bought in smaller cuts. Loin and leg joints are cooked at a higher temperature and therefore have a shorter cooking time than belly or shoulder, which are cooked on a low heat over a long period of time (some recipes require meat to roast in the oven for 6 hours!).
Bone in/Bone out choice
If you buy your meat from the butchers, you can choose to have the bone in or out (if it is loin or leg). Meat cooked on the bone cooks more evenly and you lose less of the juices, because the bone acts as a conductor of heat. Meat cooked on the bone therefore has more flavour. However, boneless meat can be rolled neatly and this allows you to add your own stuffing inside the roll.
Roasting the joint
Pre-heat the oven to a temperature of 230C / gas mark 8.
Dry the surface of the joint with a kitchen towel and then rub in sea salt.
Place the joint in a roasting tin and put a small onion (cut in half) underneath. This will caramelise and provide delicious juices for the gravy.
The joint can now be put in the oven. Roasting time
Cooking times depend on the size of the joint. Firstly, roast the joint for
30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 190C / gas mark 5. (This will sear the outside of the joint, which will ensure all the juices stay inside the meat.)
Then cook the joint for a further 35 minutes per 450g (1 lb). The trick to cooking pork is not to baste the joint (as you would doing with a chicken roast) otherwise the crackling won't become crispy.
How to tell if it is cooked
When the allotted time is completed, remove the meat from the oven and place a skewer inside.
Remove it and press firmly on the joint. If the juices run clear from the joint, then it is cooked. Tip
Leave the meat to rest for 30 minutes. This is very important as meat is a muscle. It needs time to relax. Carving too soon will release all the juices, making the meat dry.