I’m big into seasonal cooking. However, even after 6 years in Australia I can’t seem to get my head around the fact that January = Summer. To me January was always bitterly cold and a time for hibernation. This was reflected in the type of food I would crave and cook. Hearty and warming – a slow roast that would heat the house and fill it with delicious aromas. Sydney in January is nothing like Edinburgh in January. It’s hot, humid and often uncomfortably so. Today, the sun was not shining and it was a chilly 26ºC so out came the pot roast pan! Durning the long cooking time, the sun came out and the cicadas began to sing – just as the house heated to a temperature similar to that of the face of the sun. The resulting dish however was well worth the suffering. A meltingly tender roast which just gave up the fight and turned into one of the most delicious roasts I’ve had this side of the equator.
1.5kg bonelsss pork shoulder
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 large bulbous spring onions
2 sticks celery cut into 5cm pieces
1 small bunch fresh tarragon
300ml fino sherry
300ml dry white wine
6 cloves garlic (skin on – gently bruised)
2 garlic cloves (cut into thin slithers)
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200ºC.
Stab the meat all over (about 10-15 times) with a sharp knife and insert pieces of tarragon and garlic slithers into the holes. Chop the remaining tarragon and set aside. In a large ovenproof lidded pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Gently fry the pork on all sides till brown then remove from the pan and add the onions, celery and garlic and 1 stem of tarragon. Fry for 1 minute then reduce the heat to very low.
Place the meat on top of the onions and garlic in the pan then pour over the sherry and wine. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and half the remaining tarragon then cook in the oven for 20 minutes with the lid off. Reduce the heat to 140ºC, baste the pork with the juices, then put on the lid and cook for a further 3 hours, basting every half hour. Remove the pork from the pan and fry separately in a little oil until the skin becomes browned and crisp.
Cut into thick slices and drizzle over some of the pan juices. Serve with the onions and celery as a side dish alongside steamed vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes or celeriac.