Tuesday, 22 March 2011

237: Great British Food Revival: Roast Pork Leg

I watched Great British Food Revival last week with Clarissa Dickson-Wright and Gregg Wallace and I do so love a roast dinner. So, I felt inspired. Fortuitously we were also we were sightseeing, visiting Ripley Castle near Harrogate and found in Ripley village Hutchinson's Butchers.

The whole of Ripley village is an 19th century model village. And the experience of shopping in Hutchinson's carried forward the 19th Century theme. To get to the shop, you walk up a short alleyway, where there was a van with it's door's open blocking most of it. A glance in the back and there were two lads sawing a pig in half and Mrs VegBox was off to look at - well anything else really. Outside the shop, hanging almost so I had to brush them aside were two lambs, two half pigs and a half cow. Proper butchers this.

Inside there was the tiniest fridge rammed with meat. Most of the room was taken up with a butcher's block, where two more butcher guys were vigorously dismembering a massive cow's rump. Because the fridge was so small I had to ask for a pork joint; where I was offered a leg - and quite a leg it was too. Here it is:

It cost me £23 for this lump of meat and a dozen eggs.

Clarissa recommended starting with a hot oven for crackling and salting and oiling. I do not doubt for an instant that Ms Dickson-Wright is a far superior cook to me; but on roast Pork I feel pretty confident.

So, I stick the pork in on a low heat for as long as I have available - in this case 6 hours. I salt the skin (the butcher had done plenty of scoring), but don't bother oiling it. Part of the reason I prefer to finish on hot, is that then oven is then ready for the Yorkshire puddings - by the time the meat's rested the yorkies are done.

For the first time ever, there was more crackling than four of us could eat.

Back to Mr Wallace - he'd explained what you want in potatoes for roasting and for mashing. One thing there's never really quite enough of with a VegBox is spuds - so this week, we bought King Edwards for Roasting and Desires for Mashing. Well, cheers Spanky; these both turned out excellently - I'll bear this in mind more in the future when I'm choosing my tatties.

In addition to the Pork, roasties and mash, I also added pretty much the whole of the rest of my VegBox:
- Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Parsnips
- Cabbage
- Kale

After four hungry horaces had tucked in to this lot, there was still a fair amount left. Enough for 3 whole days worth of butties with just a smear of english mustard and a couple of twists of salt over the pork (and I made my own bread). Deep joy!


  1. Looks great! Did you do a gravy lad?

  2. I somehow missed this earlier - how did I manage that? What a fantastic piece of pork, and that bread looks good too. I like the sound of the butchers too.

  3. ahhh that crackling! I usually roast pork belly instead because it's so much cheaper and i love the fat:meat ratio hee hee. watched the show too, and loved it(:


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