We’re lucky that there are some very good pig farmers in Hampshire that are keeping the animals outside to run around, producing fantastic pork for us to eat.
Some have even gone to lengths to rear rare breeds such as Saddlebacks and Gloucester Old Spots. The Saddlebacks are easy to identify with a black body and white stripe around the belly.
Gloucester Old Spots look like a cartoon pig with their chubby faces, big noses and round, spotted belly. They make me smile when I see them. Many butchers are buying the meat, making it easier for us to purchase and allowing us to taste this great local product.
If you really want Saddleback meat from a local farm, I know that Fred and Sam at Stansted Park Farm shop have it in stock, as it’s one of their favourites.
When I start to think about cooking pork, Bramley apples always pop into my head, with the tartness to cut the fat, and then a bit of cinnamon and maybe some honey.
With this recipe I use all three, and add some dry cider so that the dish is self-saucing.
You’ll need to ask your butcher to remove the skin from the loin, which you can score and roast separately with some salt to make crackling.
Roast pork with cider and cinnamon
Ingredients (serves four)
1k loin of pork, skin removed
2 Bramley apples
2 tablespoons honey
Half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
400ml dry cider
250 ml chicken stock
1. Peel and chop the apples into 1cm cubes and place in the bottom of a small roasting pan
2. Put the honey, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and cider into a saucepan
3. Bring to the boil and reduce in volume by half
4. Add the chicken stock, bring back to the boil and then turn off the heat
5. While the sauce is reducing, pan fry the pork joint all over until golden brown.
6. Put the meat on top of the apples and pour the sauce over the pork
7. Roast the pork in the dish for 50 minutes in a preheated oven at 200c, gas mark seven
8. The apples will have softened into the liquid, leaving a lovely sauce. If it is too thick, add some water; if too thin, heat and reduce the liquid
9. Allow the pork to rest before carving and serve with the sauce