Roast Pork with Rosemary and Garlic

This Nigel Slater pork dish will be a delicious change from turkey this Christmas

• A piece of pork loin (4 or 5 chops thick), about 1kg, chinned and scored by the butcher

• Olive oil

• Rosemary, 4 or 5 bushy sprigs

• Garlic, 3 or 4 fat cloves

• 2 large potatoes and/or parsnips, each cut into about 4-6 (there is little point in peeling them)

• A glass of wine

Serves four

1) When you arrive home, unwrap the pork loin and season it quite generously with salt and pepper. Rub a small palmful (five or six pinches) into the exposed areas of meat and the meat under the loose back-bone. Put it in the fridge. It can stay there happily for a few hours.

2) Set the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Put the pork in a shallow, oval dish or roasting tin fat side-up and rubbed with a little olive oil. Nothing fancy, any sort will do. Sprinkle the fat with salt and pepper, at least two or three pinches.

3) Stuff the rosemary and garlic under and around the meat. Dot a few potatoes and/or parsnips around it. Drizzle with a little oil, and then roast for 20 minutes. This short burst of high heat will start the process of the turning the fat into crisp crackling.

4) Turn the heat down to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and roast for a further fifty minutes. This makes about thirty minutes per half kilo of meat. The meat is pretty much self-basting but the vegetables will benefit from a nudge and basting with the pan juices now and again. Don’t over do it, twice will suffice, otherwise the oven heat will be lost.

5) Remove the meat and set to one side.

6) Tip a glass of white wine, anything will do, into the tin. Stir in any tasty-looking bits stuck to the bottom and return the pan and its vegetables to the oven. After five or six minutes the wine will have made a thin gravy with the pan juices. The vegetable will have crisped, except on the bottom where they will be delectably gooey.

7) Slice the meat, accompany with the vegetables and spoon over the pan juices.

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