Beautiful halogen oven roast pork with veg

It is hard to beat beautifully roasted pork with crispy crackling and luscious apple sauce. It might not be suitable for a low day but this recipe is fantastic and the potatoes and carrots are at least roasted in a super healthy way.

I love roast pork but I have always found it hard to cook to perfection. I have always got it slightly wrong; always overcooking (and hence making it dry) for fear of undercooking and its potential for food poisoning. I have probably been worrying too much but you do hear that undercooked pork can be bad.

Anyway, another thing I love (and I am a bit sad that way πŸ˜ƒ) is my halogen oven. They are wonderful things. They cook quickly and beautifully. I have had very many successes with my halogen oven including three Christmas turkeys now (another meat that used to always be dry when I tried roasting it until I did it in the halogen oven). However, I find it extremely hard to find reliable halogen oven roasting instructions for pork on the Internet.

So, I have been experimenting with roasting pork in my halogen oven a couple of times (it’s amazing how you get inspired to create when your butcher offers rolled port joints for half price πŸ˜ƒ) and I think I have found perfection. My pork was roasted beautifully. It was dead easy to do and the meat was moist and succulent. So I thought I should share it.

I served it with roast potatoes and carrots (cooked using one of my other favourite gadgets – my Actifry), some quick and easy cauliflower cheese and some home made apple sauce (well I actually used some toffee apple jam I had made – you can find the recipe here). Beautiful.

Okay, let’s start with the ingredients:

  • 1 rolled and tied pork joint (mine was about 2 1/2 pounds in weight.
  • Potatoes – as many or as few as you want.
  • Carrots – as many or as few as you want.
  • 15 ml Oil – I used rapeseed (canola) oil.
  • Cauliflower – I used about one third of a cauliflower for three portions.
  • 1 oz plain flour.
  • 1 oz butter.
  • 1/2 pint milk.
  • 100g mature cheddar (or any strong flavoured cheese).
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Apple sauce and gravy (I used instant gravy mixed with the roasting juices) to serve.

And this is how to cooked it:

Start by resting your joint on a work surface so that it can get up to room temperature. This seems to help it cook much better than if it is refrigerated.

Now score the skin quite deeply but taking care not to cut the meat (otherwise it will dry out). Rub salt into the skin and massage into the scores. This will help to crisp up the crackling.

Heat your halogen oven to its maximum temperature (mine is 250 degC). Once up to temperature place your joint in on the low rack. Let it cook for about 10 minutes. It is this super-hot stage that leads to great crackling.

Then turn the temperature down to 175 degC and leave to cook for 35 minutes. At this stage I use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the joint. If it has reached 68 degC then it is done otherwise put it back on for another five minutes before checking again (I did this three times before my joint was ready). Once it has reach 68 degC take the lid off the halogen oven and cover the meat lightly with foil or a tea towel and leave to rest whilst the veg cooks. That is it. Dead easy, right?

Three important points to remember are:

  • The internal temperature must reach 68 degC otherwise it will not be properly cooked.
  • Try to stop the cooking as soon as it reaches 68 degC. Every degree hotter means that the joint will be drier.
  • The joint must be rested. It ensures that the lovely juices stay in the meat, making it lovely and moist.

Perfect roast pork.

Now for the veg.

I prepared mine whilst the pork was cooking and then cooked the veg whilst the pork was resting as the 25 minutes roasting time for the veg is just about the perfect resting time for the pork.

Peel, chop, wash and dry (in that order) the potatoes and carrots.

Place them in your Actifry along with the oil. Of course you can roast them in a traditional oven if you wish but the Actifry is just so easy. If you do use traditional roasting then adjust your timings to suit your method.

Once you have started resting your pork turn on the Actifry and cook the potatoes and carrots for 25 minutes.

Chop your cauliflower into nice florets and place in a pan of salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes (adjust time based upon how firm you like you veg – I prefer mine on the firm, under-cooked side). Then drain and retain for later.

Now make a roux with the butter and flour (melt the butter in a pan and then add the flour, mix and cook gently for a couple of minutes)

Now gradually whisk in the milk and cook gently until it begins to simmer. By this stage it should be nice and thick. If it is too thick add a little more milk. Then add the black pepper and a sprinkling of grated nutmeg to taste (take care with nutmeg as it has an intense flavour that can overpower the taste if too much is added). Now add the grated cheese (adjust the amount based upon how cheesy you want it). Finally stir in your cauliflower and heat through. 

Now you have a really easy and absolutely lovely cauliflower cheese.

Okay, so now we are ready to plate up. Carve your joint into slices and serve with your veg, apple sauce and gravy. 

Absolutely gorgeous (and yes, I know my food photography skills need workπŸ˜ƒ).

Suggestions for modifying this meal:

  • The obvious modification is to serve it with different veg. You can use anything you like although I always think that veg with a bit of sweetness (e.g. carrots, parsnips, peas) works well with pork.
  • Use a mixture of strong flavoured cheeses (e.g. blue cheese, Parmesan, anything) in your cauliflower cheese.
  • Add some crispy bacon or pancetta to your cauliflower cheese.