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Roast Pork Shoulder

with roasted apples & crackling

Preheat the oven to 225ºC. Score the skin of the pork shoulder lengthways with a sharp knife. Rub in the sea salt and then remove the skin in one whole piece, cutting the fat away as close as possible to the meat itself. Keep the fat to one side for the crackling later on. Cover the bottom of your roasting dish with a little oil then drizzle some more oil over the pork shoulder and place in the dish. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 165ºC. Wrap the pork shoulder in foil and place the skin back on top and cover with more foil. Continue to cook for a further 2 1/2 hours. After this time add the dessert apples to the roasting dish underneath the top layer of foil and place back in the oven for a further 40 minutes.

Finally increase the oven temperature to 225ºC, remove the pork shoulder and apples from the roasting dish, uncover and remove the skin and return to the dish uncovered, cook for a final 30-35 minutes or until crisp and golden. Allow the pork shoulder to rest, covered in foil, whilst the crackling crisps up.

Slice or pull apart the meat, the choice is yours. Serve with an apple per person and all the trimmings.

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This is a real hearty roast that is best enjoyed with family and friends on a cold Sunday.

The accompanying roasted apples make this dish little more special than your average roast, giving the impression that you have gone the extra mile when really it's only a matter of popping them in the oven along side the meat.

Unlike cooking apples which generally have a higher acidity and lower sugar content, which often need the sweetness adding, an eating apple has a high amount of atural sugars already present and a lower acidity, which results in something beautifully mellow and sweet without the addition of sugar.

a ball of apple sauce

A good accompaniment to this dish is a rich cider gravy, this can be easily achieved by braising the pork in cider and water and using this as a base for the gravy. I find it is always best to add in a few extra apples, one each sometimes not being enough. In the rare event that anyapples are left over, smothered in a sandwich the following day with the pork is a great lunch!

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Ferny Ball, Exmoor
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