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Roasted loin of pork

I used to find pork really hard to roast, often finding that the juices had all dried up before I could make a gravy. In my experience, there is no going back once it has dried out, as there is nothing I have found to hide the bitter burnt taste.  As the boys love crackling, I had to find a way of making pork successfully.  This method is relatively easy, although I do find I need to be on hand to check on it every half hour to ensure that the juices do not burn.  I tend to buy a loin of pork and ask the butcher to remove the bone, but take it home along with the kidney.  By carefully balancing the joint on the bone and kidney, there are some spectacular juices produced, rich in flavour, and the bones and kidney go on to make an amazing stock.  To make good crackling, keep the joint uncovered before roasting, so that the fat on top is dry; make sure your butcher has slit the fat well.  
  • loin of pork, with kidney, bone removed - enough for the number of bellies - ask your butcher for advice
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • lots of fresh sprigs rosemary and/or thyme
  • couple of tablespoons table salt
  • 1 beaker water
  • half cup white wine, if available
  • 1-2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 pint vegetable stock (use water from vegetables)
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • seasoning
  1. Make little slits through out the flesh of the pork. Into each slit, stuff a slice of garlic and a sprig of rosemary and/or thyme.  
  2. Generously sprinkle table salt on top of the pork and rub into the fat. Take care not to get any salt onto the flesh, or it will dry it out.  
  3. Arrange the pork on top of the bone in a roasting dish, taking care that the salt does not fall off into the dish. 
  4. Transfer to a very hot oven (245 C) for about 20 minutes. Do not cover.  Reduce the heat to 190 C.  Add a large splash of water and the half cup of white wine, if using.  
  5. Continue to roast for about 30 minutes per 450g.  Check it about every 20 minutes and add more water if necessary to make sure that the roasting tray does not dry out. 
  6. When the pork is cooked, remove the meat and let it rest. 
  7. Place the roasting tray on a hot hob,  and stir in 1 tbsp plain flour until absorbed and there is a thick paste. If you need more flour, then sprinkle a little more in. 
  8. Gradually add as much of the stock as you need, little by little, to make a gravy. Let it bubble away after each addition.
  9. Add a very small splash of old white wine if available, the mustard and honey. Stir well. Adjust flavourings as appropriate.