Shoulder can be much tastier than a prime cut such as the loin. It’s the part of the animal that does more work, so therefore is less tender, but the taste certainly makes up for it and it’s about half the price.
There are still some lovely seasonal root vegetables around, which cook down to a perfect sweetness in the meat juices.
- 1 boned and tied shoulder of pork weighing about a kilo
- 1 large parsnip, peeled, halved, cored and cut into even sized pieces
- 250g small carrots, or the same quantity of large peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
- Half a swede (rutabaga plant, Swedish turnip), peeled and cut into rough 2cm chunks
- A few sprigs of thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF
- Season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan until smoking hot.
- Seal the pork on all sides until nicely coloured.
- Put vegetables and thyme in an oven-proof pot and lightly season.
- Add the pork to the pot, arranging the vegetables around it and cover with a lid, or tightly fitting foil. Don’t add water.
- Cook for 1.5 hours, basting the vegetables and meat every so often. Don’t worry too much about this if you leave the pot unattended as the steam produced under the lid will do this for you.
- Slice the meat as thick as you like.
- Serve with the juices just as they are, or add a little cider, or wine, and thicken with a couple of teaspoons of corn flour.