How were your Christmas holidays? I hope everyone had an amazing and safe holiday…and are looking forward to next weekend’s holidays.
We had a great time and I am very happy to have all the family again together, as my son came from England and will be staying with us for a month.
I wanted to share with you this amazing pork roast I made yesterday.
We are still lucky to have butcheries in Greece and there is just one around the corner of our house where we’ve been shopping the past twenty years. I am sure this recipe would be even better with a loin but I wanted a cheaper cut so I described to our butcher what I wanted to do and I told him that I wanted the skin on and to score it and cut an opening for the filling. He chose a nice piece of meat from the leg, which he prepared the way I wanted it.
I decided to roast it with skin on as when it comes to the crunch, it’s hard to resist a plate of tender roast pork with perfect crispy crackling.
Although at first sight you may see a lot of ingredients and stages for this recipe, however, this Pork Roast is easy to prepare and tastes fantastic. This recipe is too good to be eaten only at Christmas, so if you haven’t made up your minds what to cook for New Year’s day, this would be a great idea.
I used ingredients I had at home and just followed some tricks I learned over the years to make this succulent, tender meat and crispy rind. First of all I brined the meat, just like I do for turkey and filled it with ingredients we all love. I wrapped the baking tin with an aluminum tent, again the same way as I make stuffed turkey, and when I uncovered it three hours later a fabulous aroma of garlic and rosemary filled the kitchen.
As on New Year’s eve we usually go to bed very late, the good thing about this recipe is that you can start brining procedure one day earlier. The next day prepare the marinade and stuff and tie the meat. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate overnight. Also, peel, wash and cut potatoes from the previous day and put them in a bowl of water. The next day just put everything in the oven and forget about it for at least three hours.
Unfortunately, we had no leftovers but if you do, leftovers are also great to be eaten cold, add thin slices in sandwiches or make a Bulgar pilaf and add pieces of meat in it.
Orange-Mustard-Garlic, Greek Crispy Pork Roast, recipe by Ivy
Step 1: Brining:
- 2 litres water
- Almost ½ cup salt, mixed with coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp mixed colours peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 4 hours
Serves : 10 – 12
- 1 boneless leg of pork, about 2 – 2 ½ kilos (Mine was 2300 grams)
- Salt, pepper, oregano
- 1 tsp peppercorns (various colours)
- Mustard Marinade (see below)
- 7 large potatoes
- Salt, pepper, oregano
Step 2: Preparing and marinating the pork
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp thyme honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 slices bacon
- 5 prunes
- Half halloumi (about 130 grams) cut into about 10 thin slices
Step 3: Roasting Pork
Sweet and Sour Dressing:
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups orange juice
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary (only the leaves)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
Step 4: Uncovering and making Apple Sauce
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup pan juices
- 1/3 cup milk
- Ask your butcher to score the skin and underlying fat 1/4 inch deep in a cross-hatch pattern at 1-inch intervals or do it yourself using a sharp knife. Also ask him to cut somewhere in the middle, making a large, flat piece of meat, where stuffing will be added.
- Wash the meat and put it in a bowl with brining ingredients. Cover with a lid and brine overnight.
- Next morning drain and pat dry meat.
- Put all the mustard marinade ingredients in a food processor and mix to prepare the paste.
- In a non-stick frying pan sauté the bacon and set aside. Cut halloumi into slices.
- Season the pork with salt, pepper and oregano. Brush the inside part of pork with half the mustard paste. Add slices of bacon, halloumi and prunes.
- Fold the meat and tightly tie with kitchen string. Brush with the remaining mustard paste and add peppercorns in the gaps between the skin.
- Refrigerate for an hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat oven to 200o C / 400o F.
- Peel and wash potatoes. Cut them in the middle and then cut each half diagonally, into 3 or four slices, depending on how big potato is. Each wedge should be about an inch thick. Season potatoes with salt, pepper and oregano.
- Put Sweet and Sour Dressing ingredients in the same food processor and mix. Arrange potatoes in a large baking tin and put the meat in the middle, skin facing down. Pour the dressing on top of the meat and potatoes.
- Join two large pieces of aluminum foil and cover the baking tin.
Place baking tin in the oven and lower temperature to 180o C / 350° F.
- Roast for 3 hours. Discard foil and turn meat over and add the apples.
Raise temperature again to 200o C / 400o F
- In half an hour turn over potatoes and remove the apples and about 1 cup of the pan juices. Continue roasting, until skin is browned and crisp and meat is fork-tender, about half an hour more.
- Meantime place apples and pan juices in the food processor and mix to puree. Put the mixture into a small saucepan and washout the food processor with the milk. Add the milk to the apple puree and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens.
- Transfer pork to a cutting board or platter and let stand 30 minutes before cutting.
- Serve with potatoes and apple sauce.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,