Recipe: shallot and bay roasted pork with potato and turnip gratin

serves 4

for the pork

1.3 kg rolled boneless leg joint of pork
450g of shallots, ends trimmed and sliced in half across the middle
6 bay leaves
salt and pepper

for the gratin

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
200ml double cream
100ml full cream milk
50g butter
250g turnips (peeled weight) thinly sliced
250g potatoes (peeled weight) thinly sliced
salt and pepper
100g grated cheddar cheese

for the French peas

25g butter
5 spring onions, finely sliced
half a head of cos lettuce, shredded
250g frozen peas
125ml hot chicken stock
salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C. Line the bottom of a roasting tin just large enough to hold the pork with the shallots (cut side down) and bay leaves and add enough water to just cover the shallots. Sit the pork on top and roast in the oven for two and a half hours. Check for doneness after two hours.

In a saucepan, bring the garlic, cream and milk to the boil then turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Butter the bottom of a baking dish then pile in the turnips and potato slices, season with salt and pepper and toss to ensure they are evenly seasoned and distributed. Pour over the cream mixture, dot with the remaining butter and scatter over the cheese. Bake in the oven with the pork for 1 hour or until tender. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

For the peas, melt the butter in a pan and cook the spring onions until tender. Add the lettuce, peas and stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the peas are cooked though. Add lemon juice a little at a time; you want to just lift the flavours rather than taste the lemon in the finished dish.

Remove the pork, bay and shallots from the roasting pan and strain the liquid in to a pan and reduce to concentrate the flavours. Divide the peas between four plates and serve two thick slices of pork per person with some of the reduced cooking liqour spooned over. Serve the gratin on the side.


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