Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Stuffed with Oranges and Prunes

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Stuffed with Oranges and Prunes

Serves 8-10

Takes up to 5 1/2 hours, plus 2 hours soaking and 30 minutes resting 

Description

Meltingly rich and tender meat, cut through with apple, orange and sweet prunes. If you can, leave the pork uncovered overnight, in the refrigerator, before cooking. This dehydrates the skin and helps make great crackling.

Method

1. Soak the prunes in the brandy for 2 hours or, ideally, overnight. Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you start cooking. Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper.

2. Place a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add a splash of oil and when hot, add the onion. Sauté gently until soft, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the herbs, orange zest and juice, apple, breadcrumbs and plenty of seasoning. Add the sautéed onion and the chopped prunes.

3. Line a roasting tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), gas mark 7. Arrange 3 lengths of string parallel on a clean work surface. Place the meat, skin side down, on the pieces of string so that you can use them to secure the meat once rolled up. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper.

4. Cover the meat with the stuffing mixture, then roll it up, enclosing the stuffing. Use the strings to secure the rolled pork, tying them tightly. If any stuffing falls out at this point, press it back in. Place in the prepared roasting tin.

5. Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper once more, then work the flaky sea salt into the skin, especially where it has been scored. Place the meat into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 160°C (325°F), gas mark 3, and cook for 3½–4 hours.

6. Use a meat thermometer to check the centre of the roast is around 65°C (149°F) at this point. If the skin hasn’t turned to crackling by this time, crank the heat back up to 220°C (425°F), gas mark 7, and cook for a further 10–30 minutes, checking every 5 minutes that the skin isn’t burning. If it still doesn’t crackle, you can remove the meat from the oven, cut off the string, slice off the skin and put the skin back into the oven on its own for a few minutes. Rest the meat for 30 minutes before serving.

Ingredients

• 150g (5½oz) prunes, roughly chopped
• 100ml (3½fl oz) brandy
• 4–5kg (8lb 13oz–11lb) boneless pork shoulder, butterflied and skin scored by your butcher
• Flavourless oil, for frying
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• Leaves from 3 bushy sprigs of sage, finely chopped
• Leaves from 1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
• Zest and juice of 1 orange
• 1 red apple, grated
• 125g (4½oz) panko breadcrumbs
• 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
• Fine salt
• Freshly ground black pepper