Slow roast shoulder of pork with truffles, mushrooms and cider

The pork from Downland Produce never fails to disappoint, even when just simply roast. But this recipe adds some enticing extra flavours to create something even more spectacular. The truffles weren’t too expensive – I was using up a small jar of preserved truffles that I’d opened earlier that week (roasting fresh ones would be wrong) – and you don’t have to use them, or try some other fungi like rehydrated porcini. The quantities are rough as it will depend on the size of your joint and how many you’re cooking for. The one in the pictures was plenty for two with enough for sandwiches.

Ingredients

1 piece shoulder pork, with good layer of crackling rind, off the bone; at least 1 bottle of farmhouse cider; large flat mushrooms, sliced; sliced preserved truffle; 1 shallot, finely chopped; fresh sage, chopped; several shallots halved; fennel, thickly sliced; carrots roughly chopped; sliced apple; sea salt flakes

Preparation

Make sure the rind is well scored or use a Stanley knife to score further. Pour a kettle of boiling water over the rind. Dry thoroughly then lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the fridge uncovered for a few hours or preferably overnight.Heat oven to 230ºC.Take the pork out of the fridge, wipe away the salt and dry again. If the pork is already tied, cut away the string and separate the crackling fat from the meat. Place the mushrooms, truffle, sage and shallots on top of the meat. Place the rind on top of this and tie up again (just tie strings tightly around the meat and rind and tie tightly). Sprinkle with more sea salt and rub into the scoring.Place all the chopped vegetables and apples into a roasting dish and pour over the cider. Place a trivet in the tin then the pork onto this. Put in the oven.

After 20 minutes turn down the heat to 150ºC and roast for 3–4 hours, depending on the size of your joint. Check periodically to make sure the liquid hasn’t dried out (or become just melted fat). If it’s getting low top up with water.

Remove from the oven. Take the pork out of the roasting tin and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes. Pour the liquid into a jug and keep the vegetables warm. Remove the fat from the liquid (with a separating jug or basting pipette) and the juices. Season if necessary and keep warm.

Cut the crackling away from the meat. The meat should be ready to collapse. Pull it apart and mix in with the mushrooms and truffles. Serve on plates with the cooked vegetables from the roasting tin, pieces of crackling and your usual roast pork accompaniments, with a big jug of the cider gravy, and a glass of cider.

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