Roast pork fillet with cider and apple sauce

  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the roast pork

2kg pork fillet
1 to 2 tbsps groundnut oil
Freshly ground black pepper

For the cider and apple sauce

1 1/3 tbsps groundnut oil
500g pork bones (ask your butcher), chopped small
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
1 green apple, chopped
300ml dry cider
400ml chicken stock

For the apple and tarragon compote

6 green apples
20g unsalted butter
75ml dry cider
3 tarragon sprigs, blanched briefly in boiling water, drained, chopped
1 to 2 tsps soft brown sugar (preferably muscovado)
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2) Season the pork fillet generously with salt, rubbing it in well to encourage a crispy crackling, then season with pepper.

3) Place the roasting tray or large ovenproof pan over a high heat, add the groundnut oil and heat almost to smoking point.

4) Add the pork fillet and turn to seal.

5) Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through.

Cider sauce:

1) Place a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat and heat up, then add the oil.

2) When it is almost smoking, add the pork bones and cook, stirring frequently, until they are deep golden in colour.

3) Add the vegetables, garlic and herbs, lower the heat and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened and golden. Bring back to the boil, skim and simmer again for 20 to 25 minutes.

4) Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan and simmer to reduce by at least half, to thicken and concentrate the flavour; keep warm. Have your accompaniments ready and hot.

Tarragon compote:

1) Peel, core and roughly chop the apples.

2) Melt the butter in a sauté pan over a low heat, add the apples and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until they start to release their juice, then add the cider.

3) Cover and cook very slowly, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for a further 10 to 12 minutes or until the apples are just tender but still holding their shape. Take off the heat.

4) Add the tarragon and fork through, keeping the apple pieces fairly chunky. Sweeten with a little sugar to taste and leave to cool before serving.

To serve:

1) Remove the pork from the oven, transfer to a warmed platter and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

2) Pour off the fat from the roasting pan then add the meat juices to the sauce.

3) Carve the pork, first removing the crackling in one piece to make it easier to do so.

4) Arrange the pork slices on warmed serving plates. Add a portion of the crackling and accompaniments to each plate. Serve immediately with the apple and tarragon compote.

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