2 adults; 1 toddler
Oven Roasted Pork & Warmed Mixed Grapes with Cheshire Discovery ApplesauceThis roast dinner is your quintessential Fall meal. Late season Cheshire Discovery apples lend their distinct sweetness to rustic applesauce, the crackling on the pork is salty and has the perfect crunch and the warmed grapes, dressed in drippings from the roast and a verjus reduction are both sweet and tart.
I served this on a Sunday after letting the pork rest overnight in the fridge, the fat scored and stuffed with fennel and bay, prepping itself for epic crackling. This dish is so good. Divinely good. Worth the extra pennies it cost to import the verjus from France and made extraordinarily special by the fact that we picked the apples by hand not more than a week before from a local orchard.
Picking Discovery Apples in Cheshire
Autumn apples are irresistible. I think they're much more complex than early harvest apples and I find them to be very versatile. In need of a day out as a family, we headed south from Manchester to Cheshire to Eddisbury Fruit Farm to go apple picking! We had visited earlier in the year when England was in the thick of a balmy summer, and had gone gooseberry picking.
It was exciting to see that as soon as we walked up to the trees in the orchard, Calllum reached his little hand out and plucked the fruit from the branches. He remembered. He knew at not even 2 that things we eat grow on trees. He became quite attached to his apple, holding it as we snaked up and down the wide lanes, flanked by various varieties of apple, the air sweet with sentiment, the ground littered with the discarded bounty of aged trees.
He probably won't remember the first time he went apple picking. He probably won't remember the joy on his face or the bond he formed with his apple, but hopefully, if we continue to go fruit picking, we'll be able to teach him and show him where food comes from and hopefully he'll have a healthy relationship with it and a respect and understanding of it. One day, he'll look at these photos and we'll be able to tell him all about the time he picked his first apple and show him the delicious dish we prepared from his effort. That'll do.
Ingredients:For the pork
1 pork loin joint
2 or 3 bay leaves
For the grapes
2 cups red and green grapes
2 tbsp tarragon
2 tsp verjus
For the applesauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thyme
2 Cheshire Discovery apples, roughly chopped (1 peeled, 1 unpeeled)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp water
3 tbsp verjus
Instructions:Oven Roasted Pork & Warmed Mixed Grapes with Cheshire Discovery Applesauce
- The night before you serve the pork, prepare the skin for crackling by slicing the fatty top of the joint in several places.
- Rub over salt and sprinkle over fennel seeds. Push a few bay leaves into the slits and refrigerate uncovered.
- The next day, brush the salt off of the pork and roast in a very hot oven until cooked through.
- Make the applesauce while the pork cooks by browning butter and oil in a skillet.
- Add the apples, thyme, sugar, water and verjus and caramelize slowly over a low heat.
- Remove the pork from the oven once cooked.
- Strain a bit of the cooking juices into a skillet and add the halved grapes, tarragon and verjus. Warm the grapes through.
- Pour the grapes and tarragon into the bottom of a serving dish. Top with the pork and serve with the applesauce and green beans.
Gotta have pork? Try these other yummy pork dishes: