Mother’s Day is less than a week away and, if you’re anything like me, you’re worrying about how to show your gratitude. It can be tricky to pick something out, especially as we get older and can no longer get away with the gift of a lovingly made card or sending Dad out to pick up something nice. Flowers are usually a safe bet (good quality flowers, I learnt my lesson recently. Go to a florist, not a supermarket!) and a big box of chocolates are a simple gesture of love and appreciation. You could also acknowledge your lovely Mum in another way – why not cook for her? Give her the day off and prepare a Mother’s Day feast for her and your family.
This Roast Loin of Pork recipe couldn’t be easier. It’s a delicious meal with succulent meat and crispy Crackling on top and served with a wonderful Balsamic Gravy. There is no big secret to Crackling, just dry and score the skin before it goes into the oven – simple!
1.2 kg Pork Loin (in one piece)
2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Onions (chopped)
1 large Carrot (chopped)
1 stick of Celery (chopped)
3 cloves of Garlic (chopped)
2 Bay Leaves
1 sprig of Rosemary
1 litre of Pork or Chicken Stock
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1. Score the skin of the pork with a knife being careful not to cut into the flesh below. Dry it thoroughly with kitchen paper before rubbing the oil into the skin. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and set aside.
2. Put the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay and rosemary onto the bottom of a roasting dish and season lightly. Place the pork on top (skin side up) and put into a pre heated 230 degree oven. As soon as the pork goes in, drop the temperature to 170 degrees and cook for approximately 1 and a quarter hours or until cooked through. (check with a thermometer after an hour, it’s cooked when the middle of the pork is 73 degrees celsius).
3. When the pork is cooked remove it from the tray and set aside to rest. Pour a little water into the tray and scrape up any of the stuck on bits of vegetables/meat. Pour this, along with all of the vegetables into a saucepan and add the stock and balsamic. Bring to a boil and allow to reduce by two thirds until there is about 350ml left.
4. Cut the pork into twelve slices and serve with potatoes and vegetables (or combine the two for colcannon like I did!) and pour over the gravy. Delicious!