There’s nothing better than a big, hot roast on a Sunday in the winter – especially in Tassie, and we have a way to make that traditional roast even better. It takes a bit of patience and sounds a bit medical – I’d be surprised if you’ve tried this before, but it really does add a bit of excitement back into Sunday dinner!
Have you guessed what I’m talking about yet? Injecting – yes, you read that correctly – injecting wine into a roast gives it an amazingly delicate flavour and keeps the meat tender and moist, and Pinot Noir is the perfect match for pork. We always use locally-produced free-range pork so see if you can get something similar where you are. You will find an injecting kit at just about any kitchen store.
I don’t think roast pork is complete without crackling, apple sauce and gravy so I’ve included a step-by-step guide to making all of those in the method section below.
Free-range pork joint
White Rock Pinot Noir
Roasting potatoes (I like roosters)
Vegetables to roast (I use carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and parsnips)
Before we begin, make sure you take the meat out of the fridge for an hour or so to reach room temperature. Then we’re going to get straight into the wine injecting! Use about 100ml of wine per kilo of meat and inject slowly. If the needle is pulled out too quickly the wine immediately oozes out, so just a little in each spot, jab it deep and shallow and remove the needle slowly each time. Preheat the oven to 125C and then brush the crackling (skin) with olive oil and rub salt into it.
Pop the roast into the oven and turn the temperature down to 95C after putting the roast in and cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours per kilo. It really is a good idea to have a thermometer that you can insert into the meat to get an accurate reading of the progress as the temperature can be adjusted if you are running out of time, but of course, there were no thermometers back when people started roasting meat so you can do without it! If you don’t have a thermoteter, you can poke a sharp knife in to the meat and if no pink juice oozes out, then it’s ready.
When you think the meat is about two hours from being done, you can get your roast veggies started. I always use pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and parsnips with the potatoes. Peel and chop the veggies to the size that you like, put them into a roasting dish and drizzle a bit of olive oil over them. You can move them around to make sure they’re just about covered in the oil, and if you’d like, you can sprinkle some herbs and salt over them.
For the last half hour of roasting the meat and vegetables, turn the oven up to brown off the roast and finish the crackling. The veggies can be left in the oven after the meat comes out to brown off a bit more.
For those of you who absolutely love crackling, a turbo oven is the best kitchen gadget you could buy! I put the crackling in there at the end for 10 to 20 minutes and it blisters it up and dries it perfectly. Meanwhile, you can let the pork rest for 20 minutes or so before serving, which makes it a lot more tender.
Now put your broccoli into a steamer and cook to your liking. I like my green vegetables to be crisp, not mushy, which only takes about five minutes in a steamer or 10 minutes in boiling water. Keep an eye on it and check occasionally with a fork.
We need to get cracking on the gravy now to make sure everything’s ready at the same time. I have no objection to using gravy powder, which you can mix with a little cold water and then add some of the meat juices and veggie water. Don’t forget to add a splash of Pinot Noir! A very low heat is important so that you don’t have to stand over the pot. While we move onto the apple sauce, make sure you occasionally stir or whisk the gravy if it gets too thick and don’t let it boil. Add more veggie water as needed to get the right thickness, which is a matter of taste.
Peel and core your apples and cut them up into small chunks. Bring them to the boil in a pot with about 1cm of water. Simmer until they are nice and soft, and then just give them a quick mash. I use edible apples rather than cooking apples so that I don’t have to add sugar.
And finally, we got there. It’s time to dish it up now so make sure you don’t forget to pop a bottle of Pinot Noir on the table!