It's been a little cold recently, perfect time for a warming, comforting recipe. This is one for the weekend, or to prepare the night before. Not only is it worth it, for the tender meat falling apart as soon as the fork tickles it, it's no work, the time is dedicated to slow marinading and cooking.
That gives you lots of time to do something else.
This is best eaten with people you like, the telly off and the fire going.
A boneless pork shoulder joint, the best you can find. That usually means sourced locally, ideally from a butcher. Supermarket ones are fine of course, but please try and avoid Dutch pork, they castrate their little piglets without anesthetic.
Four garlic cloves
Plenty of scrubbed, chopped carrots
One large sweet potato sliced into thin discs (skin on)
Two tablespoons of flour
One pint of hot stock, ideally ham stock, or chicken if you prefer. We're all busy, make it from a good quality stock cube
Ideally the night before you want to eat it, take the pork out of its wrapping. Thinly slice two garlic cloves and then crush with a fork, stir into a tablespoon of olive oil. Rub the oily garlic all over the meat and wrap tightly in kitchen foil.
This needs to marinade for at least two hours, in the fridge if you're cooking on the same day.
10 minutes before you want to cook the meat, set the oven at 190 degrees C. Put the meat, still wrapped into a deep roasting tin and then put in the oven.
You want to cook the meat for 35 minutes per half kilogram, with another 35 minutes added on.
You have lots of time then to chop your vegetables. They'll need to be ready for the last 35 minutes of cooking.
At this point, take the tray out, unwrap the meat, pour the juices back into the pan and toss your vegetables in it. Put the meat on top (the fatty, skin side up), and cook for that last 35 minutes. spoon some of the juices over the meat before it goes back in.
When it's ready, take the pan out the oven, remove the meat, wrap in more foil to rest for twenty minutes.
Stir in two tablespoons of flour into the vegetables left in the pan and pour in a pint of stock. Stir it all up and put back in the oven for the twenty minutes the meat is resting. This will create a lovely, thick, tasty sauce and finish off the veg. You might also fancy adding a glass of cider.
When it's all done, carve the meat. Pull the fatty skin off first and, when I say carve, I really mean distribute the soft chunks as it fall apart.
Pile the veg into big bowls, put the chunks of meat on top and pour lots of sauce over it. You want a nice soupy, saucy finish (so serve with lots of good bread to mop up the juices and let everyone have a spoon).