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Honey glazed pork with Star Anise

Life motto: When life gives you lemons – make lemonade… and potentially add vodka.

I’ve been doing this all week; making a fuss of myself, taking each day as it comes – and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

After working all weekend I was feeling particularly exhausted and really, really fancied a good, old fashioned pork roast with crackling. I have a recipe (of course I have a recipe!) stored up for these sorts of occasions – it won’t win you any points on the counting-calories front, but it’s a corker to impress a group of friends – perfect if you’re entertaining, or making a fuss of a loved one.

Firstly you need a lovely pork joint. Select one with a good ring of fat around the outside for crackling, and try to make it as organic and lovingly farmed as you can afford.

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Pour some boiling water on it to properly melt the fat underneath the rind – I’d recommend a couple of washes. This means that your crackling will be crisp and delicious rather than chewy and sloppy (no-one likes that!)

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Now to score the skin. You’ll need to go about an inch or so deep – so you’ll need a very sharp knife indeed! Most joints come pre-scored but it’s often not very effective for really good crackling, so get stuck in!

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After you’ve scored the meat, rub some rock salt into the skin to really dehydrate it and slide a generous amount of star anise pieces in the gaps – this will flavour the skin and the meat.

Chop up 2 onions and slide underneath the meat – this will mean you get really succulent gravy from the meat juices, honey and spices.

Pop in the oven on around 220C for 20 mins – after this turn the heat down a little and drizzle manuka honey all over the skin and meat to really make it gooey and yummy…

Leave for around an hour / 2 hours (depending on how big your joint is!)

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And then you’re done. Tender, succulent, crispy, spicy, honey-fied meat. Guaranteed to impress boyfriend’s mums, heal broken hearts and fill you up with enough left for sandwiches for the next day.

Ti” next time!

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