Roast pork with Pear puree & Cider gravy

Who doesn’t like tasty, succulent, crispy crackling? Serve this golden pork with the crispiest, most delicious crackling ever. A sure crowd pleaser! Serves 10

1/2 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1.5kg each) boned rolled loin of pork, string removed
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes

PEAR PUREE

15g butter
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 kg Alpine region Packham pears, peeled, cored, coarsely chopped
185ml (3/4 cup) gypsy pear cider or little apple cider (2Brothers)

CIDER GRAVY

40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
375ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken or chicken style liquid stock
250ml (1 cup) gypsy pear cider or little apple cider (2Brothers)

Preheat oven to 230°C. Combine the parsley, rosemary, garlic and oil in a bowl. Place the pork, rind-side up, on a clean work surface. Use a small sharp knife to score the rind crossways, into the fat layer, at 2cm intervals. Turn pork over. Cut a horizontal slit in the thick end (don’t cut all the way through). Open the pork to sit flat. Place the parsley mixture along the centre of the pork. Starting from the thick end, roll up firmly to enclose the filling. Use unwaxed white kitchen string to tie pork crossways at 2cm intervals. Place the pork, rind-side up, in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with extra oil. Rub the sea salt into the cuts. Roast for 35 minutes or until the rind crackles. Reduce oven temperature to 200°C. Roast for 45 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Transfer the pork to a serving platter. Cover loosely with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile, to make the pear puree, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and pear. Toss to coat. Reduce heat to low and add the cider. Simmer for 20 minutes or until pear is very soft. Use a stick blender to puree until smooth. Season with salt. Cover and set aside until required.

To make the cider gravy, pour the pan juices from the pork into a jug, allowing the fat to settle on top. Return 60ml (1/4 cup) of the fat to the roasting pan. Place over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until it bubbles. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in the stock and cider. Place pan over medium-high heat and cook, scraping the pan with a flat-edged wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base, until the mixture boils. Add the reserved pan juices. Boil, stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until the gravy thickens. Transfer to a serving jug. Place the pork on a serving platter and serve with the pear puree and cider gravy.