Loin of pork, to be precise. It is a lovely joint, the same as the piece that the butcher cuts the chops from, but you really want the spine bones (known in butchery terms as the chine bone) at the bottom removed, to make carving easier. Of course, you want to keep the bones for adding to the roasting pan. They will add flavour to the gravy.
To get the lovely crackling I let the rind dry out, scored it and rubbed it with cider vinegar and salt. The joint was placed on a bed of sliced shallots (skins included), apple trimmings (I separately made apple sauce), sprigs of thyme and the chine bone. The bed was seasoned and before putting the joint into a 200C oven I drizzled everything with some olive oil.
After 30 minutes the rind was beginning to turn into crackling, so I reduced the heat to 170C and poured some boiling water into the roasting pan. This went on to form the basis of the gravy. The water also helps prevent the joint from drying out.
I gave the roast about another hour or so. This was to allow the crackling to become lovely and crisp and then took the joint out to let it rest while I have the gravy by adding some vegetable stock (I use Marigold vegan stock powder) and reducing it down at bit. Then I strained the gravy off into a saucepan and thickened it slightly with some cornflour paste. Then I sliced the pork and cut the crackling into nice pieces.
While the pork was cooking I roasted some carrots and parsnips together and some Charlotte potatoes separately. These were served with some steamed spinach to complete the roast.
As I said, I made some apple sauce. This was simply some cubed Braeburn apple with butter and cider vinegar simmered in a saucepan until soft and mushy. I didn’t add any sugar, because I don’t like sweet and gloopy apple sauce.