Recipe: Crackling with good taste

THE pig is just as popular and versatile as ever, judging from a flood of excellent recipes, many domestic and Irish, some French, Dutch, Hungarian, Singaporean, Chinese and Goan. Brigitta Lock of Bayswater, west London, who is Dutch, is this week's winner. She will receive a bottle of Gewurztraminer Jubilee Reserve Personnelle 1986 from Hugel, from Reid Wines in Bristol.

Mrs Lock writes: 'The Dutch tend to have their meat without any fat on it at all. Being married to an Englishman, I now compromise, cooking the piece of pork without fat, but keeping the rind to cook for the last half-hour in the oven, to give some lovely crackling on the side.'

This recipe, probably originally French, for loin of pork stuffed with apricots and seasoned with mustard, was handed down from her grandmother. It is unusual in that it is a braise. I have seen many roast variations; the most famous is to stuff it with apricots and prunes, then baste it while cooking with a madeira sauce.

Loin of Pork with

Mustard and Apricots

Serves 4-6

Ingredients: 3lb/1.4kg loin of pork, de-boned and trimmed of rind and most of the fat (leave a thin layer for searing)

3tbs grainy mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

1tsp dried herbes de provence

1 large potato, cubed

1 large carrot, chopped

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1oz/28g butter

1tbs vegetable oil

1 pint water

12 dried apricots

5fl oz/150ml single cream

(optional)

Preparation: Preheat oven to 300F/150C/gas 2. Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper and herbs. Rub with mustard. Heat oil in large heavy casserole. Add butter. When it melts, thoroughly brown the outside of the joint, turning it regularly. This will get the flavours going. Lift out and reserve. Gently fry the potato, onion, carrot and garlic. Return pork. Add water and cover. Bring to boil on stove top then cook in oven for a minimum of two hours, turning every 45 minutes or so. Half an hour before the end of cooking, add apricots. Taste. If you wish, refresh sauce with an extra 1tbs of mustard and finish with cream.

Next week, more pork, and recipes are welcome for the new category: cooking with asparagus. The prize will be a bottle of Tokay Pinot Gris Reserve Rolly Gassmann 1988 from Bibendum Wines of north London. Send your recipes to: Emily Green, Weekend, the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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