What is Christmas without pork? These three recipes are so good that your taste buds will start tingling just by reading them!
It doesn’t always have to be gammon for Christmas. A roast leg of pork is very affordable and just as tasty, as is pork belly, pork neck, bacon, crackling ... Pork is one of the most versatile and affordable meats on the market, and it’s so easy to dress up for special occasions. Just add some festive candied or dried fruit, a dash of rum or the right combination of herbs and you’ll be stunned by the result.
Roast pork neck with rum and pears
Christmas leg of pork with bacon and sage
You’re going to want to make extra because this festive stuffed pork is amazing as a sandwich filling the next day.
6 herbed pork sausages
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150 ml fruitcake mixture (sultanas, grapes and citrus peel)
3 green apples, grated with the peel on
100 g pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5 kg pork leg (ask the butchery staff to debone the leg of pork and to remove the skin; take the skin home with you, and see the tip at the bottom for an extra delicious delicacy to spoil your guests)
30 rashers smoked streaky bacon
350 ml naartjie or orange juice
¼ cup (60 ml) honey
4 whole cloves
1 cup (250 ml) sweet mustard sauce, to serve
1. Remove the sausage meat from its casings and mix with the sage, garlic, fruitcake mixture, apple and nuts. Season well with salt and pepper.
2. Place the deboned pork leg on a clean work surface. Make shallow horizontal cuts in the meat but do not cut all the way through. Unfold the meat like a butterfly spreading its wings. (That’s how you butterfly meat.) Season with salt and pepper.
3. Spoon the sausage mixture onto the meat and spread evenly. Roll the meat into a firm sausage shape and wrap with the bacon. Cover in clingfilm and then in foil.
4. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the pork in the water. Cooking time will depend on the size of your pork leg. Boil for 30 minutes for every 500 g minus 30 minutes for roasting time (Our cut was boiled for two hours and roasted for 30 minutes.)
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the citrus juice, honey and cloves. Take the pork out of the pot, remove the foil and clingfilm and place the meat in ovenproof dish. Spoon the citrus mixture over. Roast in the oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes, basting regularly with pan juices.
6. Serve hot with the pan juices and vegetables of your choice. Mustard is always a winning accompaniment to pork.
Pronounced ‘porketta’, this classic Italian roast is both deliciously juicy and crispy – your family will be calling dibs over the last tasty morsels. Thankfully, this recipe makes enough to feed a crowd and is so versatile it goes with any number of sides and salads. Buon appetito!
TIP: Tell your butcher you’re making a porchetta, and they’ll cut to your specifications – the bellies need to be large enough to roll.
3 pork bellies (about 1.5kg each), deboned, skin on
FOR THE RUB
1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) chilli flakes
1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp (45 ml) rosemary leaves, chopped
FOR THE PARSLEY & ROSEMARY DRIZZLE
1 tbsp (15 ml) rosemary leaves, chopped
30 g Italian parsley
1 small clove garlic (optional)
pinch chilli flakes
6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) red-wine vinegar
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1. Pat the pork with paper towels and set on a clean surface, skin-side down. Slide strings of kitchen twine underneath the bellies, long enough to tie around the porchettas at about 3 cm intervals.
2. Prepare the rub by either blitzing the ingredients in a food processor or by pounding in a pestle and mortar. You should be able to just ‘spread’ it. Then spread the rub on the top of the meat. Roll the belly so that the fattiest part of the skin is on top. Tie up with twine.
3. Spread the table salt all over the top and sides of the porchettas (this will help to draw the moisture out for that crispy, crackly fat). Set aside in the fridge for one hour.
4. Make the parsley and rosemary drizzle by blitzing the ingredients together to get a pesto-like texture. Set aside in the fridge to allow the flavours to develop.
5. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Wipe the salt off the porchettas and pat down again with paper towels. Place the porchettas in a large baking tray (or trays) and roast for 3-4 hours (cooking times will vary depending on the size of your pork – roughly an hour per kilogram of meat). The skin should already be crispy but crank up the heat to 220°C for about 15-20 minutes to get that extra-crisp skin!
6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the drizzle and your choice of salads and sides.
Looking for something new this Christmas?
For recipe ideas, visit sapork.co.za, or you can also follow SA Pork on Facebook at @SAPork, on Twitter as @porksouthafrica, on Instagram at @sa_pork and see recipe ideas on Pinterest at @southafricanpork