I was asked recently what my signature dish is and chose this recipe which uses the thick end, or ribs attached belly joint of pork. You don’t often see this wonderful cut in the supermarket but any decent butcher will have it, and it’s reasonably priced at around £6 per kilo.
Another way to get your hands on rarer cuts is to animal share with friends. This is my favourite way to buy meat, and in our house we regularly buy a quarter of a pig from our local farm shop. They do all the messy work, and it comes to us neatly bagged and clearly labelled ‘thick end’ ‘chops’ ‘leg’ etc. It’s a sight to behold on delivery day and the savings to be had are huge!
This dish couldn’t be simpler to prepare and always provides a suitable amount of wow factor when guests come over. I like to place the meat in the centre of the table and let everyone carve off their own portion, caveman style. Served with a jug of my barbecue sauce (recipe below), some homemade coleslaw and a big bowl of seasonal root veg fries I’ve not had a complaint yet.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours (plus 30 mins resting)
2-2.5kg thick end of pork
Tbsp freshly ground sea salt
– preheat the oven to 200C fan assisted/220C non-fan/Gas Mark 7
– pour the water onto the bottom of large non-stick baking tray and place the pork on top (this will help to ensure the pan doesn’t burn)
– slash the skin several times each way making a criss-cross pattern and cover with the sea salt, this will make your crackling super crispy
– roast for 30 mins then reduce the heat to 150C fan assisted/160C non-fan/Gas Mark 2 and continue cooking for three hours. Check each hour and top up the water if needs be
– allow to rest for 30 mins before serving
Coffee barbecue sauce
Although it sounds unconventional, this bbq sauce really is fab. The coffee gives such a smoky depth of flavour you’ll want to pour it over everything. This recipe is very easy to make, completely natural and doesn’t contain tons of added refined sugar. Why not give it a go and use in place of ketchup?
Tin of tomatoes
180ml freshly brewed coffee
60ml Dijon mustard
– either whisk or blend together all the ingredients until smooth
– pour into a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer over a low heat for 20-30 mins until the sauce has reduced to half
– serve immediately
TIP: store leftovers in the fridge, this sauce will keep happily for a month