[SPONSORED] Succulent and versatile South African pork is the smart choice for festive meals with loved ones; it’s affordable and easy to prepare.
Serves 8 (with leftovers)
• 1 leg of pork (3–3.5kg), deboned and skin removed
• 1 whole onion with 12 cloves pressed into it
• 2 carrots • 5 cloves garlic • about 500ml red Grapetiser • 250ml meat stock • 15ml flour
• 150g Gruyère cheese, diced or coarsely grated
• 2–3 small Granny Smith apples, seeded and thinly sliced
• 12 prunes, pitted and chopped
• 125ml coarse breadcrumbs
• 200g diced bacon
• 2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped • 2 bay leaves, crumbled • 5ml ground allspice • 1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated • a dash of olive oil
• 125ml light brown sugar • about 200ml cooking liquid • about 30ml light soy sauce • about 15ml dark soy sauce • 1 star anise
Tip Ask your butcher to debone the meat, remove the skin in one piece and then cut it into strips for you. With their sharp knives and skills, they can do it in a jiffy and save you a lot of effort.
1. Prepare the meat for rolling A leg of pork is a big piece of meat and because of its unusual shape, it is difficult to roll. Place the meat on a clean work surface, skin side down. Use your judgment (and a very sharp knife) to butterfly the meat: carefully cut into the thick parts until the meat can be opened like a book and you can roll it easily. Use a meat mallet to flatten it if need be. Season with salt and pepper and a little olive oil.
2. Mix the filling ingredients and spread on the inside of the pork. Now roll the meat around the filling. Tie lengths of kitchen string around the rolled meat about 2cm apart (working from the centre outwards).
3. Into the oven Place the stuffed pork in a large roasting bag in an ovenproof dish and add the onion, carrots, garlic, Grapetiser, stock and flour; knot the bag and prick a few holes with a fork for the steam to escape (this prevents the bag from bursting). Preheat the oven to 100°C and roast the pork slowly overnight (8–10 hours) until tender. Remove from the roasting bag (reserve the cooking liquid), cut off the strings and place the roast in a clean oven dish. Now score the fat.
4. Make the glaze Stir the brown sugar and 200ml reserved cooking liquid together in a small saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the light soy sauce and star anise and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly. Season to taste with the dark soy sauce. Preheat the oven to 180°C, pour the glaze over the pork and roast until sticky and syrupy – about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it and baste frequently; add a dash of cooking liquid if it seems as if the glaze is starting to burn at the bottom of the oven dish. Allow the meat to rest before carving.
How to make crispy crackling...
Pour boiling water over the strips of pork skin, drain and pat dry. Rub well with salt and roast separately from the meat until crispy.
Tip Make cute little tails from the strips by loosely twisting them around wooden spoon handles and tying them with kitchen string. The spoons won’t catch alight at 180°C but remove the spoons if you want to crisp the crackling even more under the grill.