Just a quick message to say THANK YOU so much for all your food suggestions yesterday! I wanted to do roast chicken, then saw the price of the meat and died. I found a joint of pork for well under half the price, so I went with that. It took about three hours in total (partly because I over estimated the cooking time a little, and partly because I put the vegetables in too late), but we were still eating by half nine, which for a party isn't too bad!
Everyone said they liked it!! People were bizarrely obsessed with the cous cous, which for me is like someone getting excited over a glass of milk when there is wine on the table, lol.
So here it is, in all it's fine glory. It's a good recipe as it doesn't need a lot of attention once in, but you can pretend to like...baste the meat or whatever if you want some time out from the party.
I've decided to call the dish:
SO PORK. MUCH APPLES. WOW. VERY VEGETABLES!
* Calculate how long the pork needs to cook. From the total time, minus 1 hour 20 mins or so, depending on how chunky your vegetables are cut.
*With pork at room temperature, dry well. Score the skin if you can find a knife that has been sharpened since 1975.
* rub on oil oil (skin side only) and salt - pressing into the ineffectual cuts in the skin if possible.
*Try and wedge one onion (cut into quarters) under the pork. If not, just leave them vaguely next to the pork.
* Put in the oven at gas mark 8 for 15-20 minutes, then turn down the heat to gas mark 5 and cook for the remainder of the required time, NOT INCLUDING that one hour twenty minutes.
* In the meantime, cut a shit load of carrots into chunks, ditto red onions, a sweet potato. Quarter lots of green apples (I tried to give each person at least one apple quarter, but if you have room, do more. They are amazing). If you're using chestnuts - and they are pre cooked - add them along with the vegetables.
* Once the first cooking session is finished, take out pork, and surrounded it with as many of the vegetables and apples (and chestnuts if using) as possible. Pour over cider (including over the pork!) until the majority of vegetables are just covered. You can use rosemary on the veg if you like. Put a touch of olive oil on the pork.
* My roasting dish wasn't big enough to hold everything, so I put the rest of the veg into a separate dish and cooked along side the porc. Don't forget to add the cider! I ran out and the vegetables were not as good as the ones with the pork. This is also a lesson not to drink some of the cider before you start cooking.
* Put everything back in oven for the last hour and twenty minutes.
* With 15 minutes to spare, boil a kettle and make some vegetable stock. Put cous cous into a bowl, pour over the stock until it's about 1cm above the cous cous, and then cover the bowl with a plate. In two minutes it will be done.
* I also served mine with roasted chestnuts, but I bought them pre roasted and forgot to put them in so served them as a side.
Et voila. I would have liked that people got bigger portions, but they did get a full plate full of food, and most people got seconds if they wanted them.
My boyfriend cut up the pork when it was done, and some of the girls helped me plate everything up (plastic plates FTW).
I think next time the tarts are a great idea as well. I will do the cleaning the day before and pre cook them in advance!!!