I don’t eat a lot of pork. I don’t like it. I don’t like the fact that so much of the world’s pork is factory reared giving the pigs involved a pretty poor life and giving the meat from those poor animals very little in the way of texture and flavour.
However, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I love good pork. Meat from well reared, free range, happy animals tends to be pretty excellent.Even in great butcher shops, the suckling pig is hard to come by. So, when my butcher produced two racks of suckling pig (rare breed, free range, etc. etc) I was on the case. I wanted to bring out the best in the dish so I made a very special and very easy apple and pomegranate sauce as well as a delicious gravy.
- 2 free range suckling pig racks (if you can get them)
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
- Some aluminium foil
- 2 cooking apples
- 1 pomegranate
- Half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 250ml of good quality pork stock
- 1 glass of white wine
Heat your oven to 220ºC (420ºF). Cut slashes into the pork skin (if your butcher hasn’t done it already. Rub the pork skin with the oil. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper and rub in. Protect the rib tips with the aluminium foil. Place the pork in the oven. After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 200ºC (400ºF). Roast for a further 45 minutes. While the pork is roasting, prepare the apple and pomegranate sauce. Peel and core the apples, slicing into small pieces and place in a saucepan along with a little water and the sugar.
Cut the pomegranate through the equator. Hold a half pomegranate over the saucepan and hit the base of it with the back of a wooden spoon. This will knock out the seeds easily. Repeat with the other half. Squeeze in the juice of the half lemon.
Heat the saucepan over a medium heat until the apples have softened and the pomegranate seeds start to burst. Using a stick blender, blitz the sauce. It will be a wonderful colour and excellent flavour.
Take the cooked pork out of the oven and remove from the cooking tray.
Scrape the tray contents into a saucepan.
Add the wine and stock. Reduce by about 50% over a high heat. This will really concentrate the flavours and make a great sauce. Taste it and adjust the seasoning. Carve the meat, serving two or three chops per person (they are pretty small). The crackling will be a delight and gives a great contrast to the sublime, subtle meat of the pig. The sauce is a beautiful red colour and works perfectly with the meat.
We served it with mash and some leeks. Like I say in the headline, not many people will get to enjoy this delicious rack of suckling pig. It was truly delightful. If you get the chance, do appreciate it.