- Serves: 6
- Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Effort: medium
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 kg chined loin of pork
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- grated zest of 1 oranges
- freshly ground salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 large apples, such as Cox's
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- 300-600ml dry cider
- vegetable cooking water
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- vegetables, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
2. Place the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan. Sit the chined loin on top.
3. Fry the fennel seeds for around 30 seconds and take off the heat. Grind the seeds using a pestle and mortar. Add the orange zest, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well.
4. Rub the mixture onto the loin making sure the cracks in the rind are coated in the mixture. Sprinkle with a good amount of sea salt and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes.
5. Forty minutes before the end of cooking time, rigorously core your apples and tuck a bay leaf into the top of each hole. Score a line through the skin around the circumference of each apple with the point of a sharp knife. Place the apples upright in the roasting pan with the meat. Baste with the meat juices and a good slosh of cider and cook for the meat's final 30 minutes.
6. Remove the apples from the roasting pan and keep them hot.
7. Place the meat on a carving board. Slice the crackling horizontally off the joint in one piece, leaving as much of the fat as you can attached to the meat. Set aside. Loosely cover the joint with foil and a clean tea towel. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
8. Preheat the grill. Place the crackling in a grill pan and place it under the hot grill for a few minutes until it is molten brittle. Return it to the top of the meat. Do not cover the meat again or the crackling will go soggy.
9. Stir the meat juices and caramelised onion together in the roasting pan over high heat. Add the rest of the cider and, when it is bubbling, some of the water from whatever vegetables you have cooked. Reduce for a few minutes, then strain the gravy through a sieve into a jug standing in the sink. Then pour it into clean jugs.
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