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bullet Pork with juniper berries and watercress

Pork with Juniper Berries and Watercress



I give Delia full credit for this recipe.  She was all the rage when I acquired my first home and I used to cook this dish every time I entertained because it was so cheap, yet tasty, with lovely crackling and all the other aromas and tastes that you associate with roast pork. The hand and spring is the upper part of the pig's foreleg and, in supermarkets, usually sold boned and rolled as a joint, but not necessarily by name. Although I give the method for preparing this dish, I would recommend taking the stuffing to the butcher and asking him to bone, fill and tie it for you. I have done this several times and the lovely scent from the green butter attracts comments from everyone. In this time of austerity this can present a delicious roast for very little cash. It will serve 6 -8.

5lb hand and spring of pork, boned



1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp peppercorns

2 tsp juniper berries

2 cloves garlic

60g butter

juice and grated zest of a lemon

a handful chopped parsley

a handful chopped watercress

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix although mixture needs to be left not totally blitzed.  You can use a pestle and mortar if you prefer.
  • Lay the boned joint on a board with crackling side facing down and spread the mixture all over surface
  • Tie with string into a parcel, trying to avoid any parts being open to expose butter stuffing. Rub with sea salt.
  • Roast for ½ hour in a pre-heated oven of 230’C/gas 8 to seal, then turn down to 190’C/gas 5for a further 2 hours.  Test with a skewer and if juices run pink replace in oven until clear.
  • Rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.  Use pan juices to make gravy either with wine or stock from vegetables and add a little grainy mustard.