Crispy roast pork with spiced apple cider sauce.

by Gypsy and the Botanist

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A few nights ago, one of my dearest friends, Emily, came over for a roast dinner. We decided we would drink wine and cook dinner together (in that order). Given the chilly winter week, we had our hearts set on a roast, and decided upon a pork roast, with all the trimmings (i.e. lots and lots of crispy crackling).

Pork is a meat that roasts superbly. The fat keeps it moist, tender and juicy. We paired this roast with a spicy apple cider sauce. I wanted a dry cider, that wasn’t overbearingly sweet, so used a favourite of mine, produced by a local brewery in the next suburb – Young Henry’s.

The roast was accompanied by roast kipfler potatoes made my Emily, my partner in crime that night, and some baby carrots cooked in the roast’s juices. My mum always served pork with braised red cabbage – a traditional Polish pairing. So I made a batch, not braising it too much to retain a bit of crunch. Its acidity provided a perfect balance to the rich flavours of the roast, the sweetness from the sauce and carrots, and the creaminess of the crispy potatoes.

 

Ingredients (serves 4)

800g pork rack, fat scored

Sea salt

Cracked pepper

A few splashes of olive oil

2 red onions, peeled and quartered

A bunch of baby carrots

Some sprigs of thyme

8 kipfler potatoes

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Braised red cabbage

Half a mini red cabbage, roughly chopped

1 red onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

A few splashes of olive oil

A few splashes of good quality red wine vinegar

A sprinkle of sea salt

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Spiced apple cider sauce

500ml good quality dry cider (I used Young Henry’s)

2 pink lady apples, chopped roughly

140ml water

A few spoons of caster sugar

Zest from one orange

6 cloves

1 quill of cinnamon

A couple of spoonfuls of good quality butter

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Preheat the oven to 230C.  Season the pork with the sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil. Place on a roasting tray, and roast the pork for 30 minutes. Add the carrots, onion and thyme onto the roasting tray, and lower the heat to 160C, cooking the pork for another 1.5-2 hours, or until the pork is tender, and the crackling is crisp.

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Parboil the potatoes, until a fork can go through them. Toss them in some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil, and add to the roast for the last 30 minutes.

For spiced apple cider sauce, place the cider, apples, water, sugar, orange set, cloves and cinnamon into a pan, and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Then add in the butter, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

For the braised red cabbage, place the oil and garlic on a pan, and cook the garlic until it is golden in colour. Add the red cabbage and stir through, with red wine vinegar and sea salt. Stir the cabbage for 5-10 minutes, until it has softened a little.

To serve, transfer the pork, carrots and potato onto a plate, and add the braised red cabbage, and some of the cider apple sauce.

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