This meal is the main meal for the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.
Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.
Roast Pork is everyone’s favourite and many a family enjoys it at Christmas instead of turkey. You can buy both large and small cuts at this time of year and you are bound to find a joint of meat that suits your budget.
From slabs of budget-priced pork belly to fat standing rib roasts, the way you cook pork is much the same: turn the heat up for a half hour to get the crackling crisping up nicely, then turn the oven down to cook the meat slowly to tender perfection.
I’ve added extensive instructions for an onion gravy and a leek and fennel purée to go with it and the only thing you need to add is your favourite apple sauce.
In addition, you’ll be getting recipes for roast potatoes and a vegie side dish to round out the meal later in the week.
Serves 6 people
- 1 piece pork, about 1.2 to 1.8 kg depending on how much you want for leftovers
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 large onions, peeled and sliced in half
- 4 small leeks, washed and cut into 5cm lengths
- 3 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 2 sprigs thyme, (leaves only)
- 1½ tsp cornflour
Preheat oven to 220°C (fan-forced).
If your butcher has not already done so, score the rind with a sharp knife every 2cm into long strips. Rub the rind with oil, then sprinkle with a good pinch or three of sea salt and rub this into the skin as well.
Place the onions, cut side down, into the base of a shallow roasting dish. Position the leeks in amongst the onions. Cut the fennel into four or six wedges and place them in amongst the other vegetables. Place the pork joint, skin side up, on top of the onions and fennel in place of a trivet.
Bake in centre of oven for 30 minutes then turn down the heat to 160°C (fan forced oven). As the meat cooks the juices will run out and bake the onions and vegetables as well.
Cook for another 1 hour for a 1.2kg joint up to 1 hour 30 minutes for a 1.8kg joint, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the meat produces clear juices.
Remove the meat from the tray and rest it on a hot platter. Carefully slice off the crackling – it should be bubbly and incredibly crisp – and cut off the fatty residue from the underside of the crackling. Return the cracking to the warm oven to stay crisp. Cover the meat with foil and let rest for 15 minutes while you make a gravy. Remove the leeks and fennel and set aside.
Onion Gravy: Use the roasting dish in which you have cooked the meat. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan. Remove the onions, chop them finely and set aside. Over a medium heat, add the red wine and de-glaze the pan, scraping up the pan bits as you go. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add thyme leaves, and 1½ cups (375ml) water and stir until it boils, then reduce to a simmer.
Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and stir well to dissolve. Add to the gravy and stir well to combine.
When the gravy is thickened slightly, add the onions back to the pan and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
Fennel and Leek Purée: Place the roasted fennel and leeks in a blender and blitz for a minute or two until completely smooth. Add enough water (about ½ to 1 cup) to make a thick sauce. Season to taste with a little black pepper. Return the sauce to a small saucepan and re-heat it gently.
To serve: Remove the foil and slice the pork into thick slices across the grain. Remove the crackling from the oven and using a chef’s knife, whack the back of the knife with the heel of your hand to crack through the crackling into delicious shards.
Spoon some fennel purée onto plates and place slices of pork on top with some crackling shards over the top of the meat. Either spoon some gravy round the side or let everyone help themselves to gravy at the table.
$18.00 for six people, with all the trimmings, depending on size of meat.