Pot roast shoulder of pork with root vegetables

Serves 4-6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Shoulder can be much tastier than a prime cut such as the loin. It's the part of the animal that does more work, so therefore is less tender, but the taste certainly makes up for it and it's about half the price. Get your butcher to remove the rind as it won't go crispy in the pot (keep it though and freeze ready to turn into extra crackling next time you have roast pork).

Ask the butcher to bone and tie the shoulder into an even shape so it all cooks evenly. There are still some lovely seasonal root vegetables around, which cook down to a perfect sweetness in the meat juices. Make the most of them while you can.

1 boned and tied shoulder of pork weighing about a kilo
1 large parsnip, peeled, halved, cored and cut into even sized pieces
250g small carrots, or the same quantity of large peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices
2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
Half a swede, peeled and cut into rough 2cm chunks
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 5. Season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan until smoking hot. Seal the pork on all sides until nicely coloured. Put vegetables and thyme in an oven-proof pot and lightly season. Add the pork to the pot, arranging the vegetables around it and cover with a lid, or tightly fitting foil. Don't add water.

Cook for 1 12 hours, basting the vegetables and meat every so often. Don't worry too much about this if you leave the pot unattended as the steam produced under the lid will do this for you.

Slice the meat as thick as you like. Serve with the juices just as they are, or add a little cider, or wine, and meat stock and thicken with a couple of teaspoons of corn flour.