A couple of years ago I made this recipe and served it at my bonfire night party, I had quite a few to feed so I used a huge pork leg which only just fit into the oven and slow roasted overnight on the lowest possible heat. Everyone said it was amazing, falling apart tender; we ate it stuffed into crusty rolls with rocket and relish. But the real triumph of the recipe was the spiced apple relish that goes with the pork. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water; I'm going to have to cook it again.

The recipe came from the November 2006 issue of BBC Olive magazine.


  • 3-3.5kg Boned and rolled pork shoulder - skin deeply scored

  • Olive Oil

  • 300ml Dry Cider

  • 4 Cooking Apples - peeled, cored and cut into chunks

  • 3 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar

  • 1 Cinnamon Stick

  • ½ tsp crushed dried chilli

  • Nutmeg

  • Crusty rolls or baguettes - to serve

  • Wild Rocket - to serve

 Spice Paste:

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp crushed dried chilli

  • 3tsp sea salt

  • 4 garlic cloves  - crushed

  • 1 lemon - zested and juiced

What to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 230 c / fan 210 c / Gas 8.

    1. To make the spice paste, lightly crush the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns with a pestle and mortar

    2. Add the chilli, salt, garlic, and lemon zest and mix to a paste

    3. Using your fingers push the mixture into the slits in the pork skin

    4. Put the pork, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting tin and drizzle with a little olive oil

    5. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the skin starts to crisp

  2. Turn the oven down to 150 c / fan 130c / gas 2.

    1. Turn the pork over, pour over the lemon juice and cook for 1 hour

    2. Pour 150ml cider into the roasting tin and cook for a further hour

  3. To make the relish,

    1. Put the apples in a pan with the sugar, remaining cider, cinnamon stick, chilli and a good grating of nutmeg.

    2. Cover and cook over a low heat until reduced to a thick pulp.

    3. Add more sugar if needed

  4. Remove the pork from the oven

    1. Tip the pan juices into a saucepan.

    2. Turn the oven up to 220 c / fan 200 c / gas 7

    3. Cook the pork for a further 25-30 minutes until the skin has turned golden and very crisp.

    4. Rest for 10-15 minutes.

  5. Spoon off the fat from the pan juices and warm over a gentle heat. Thinly slice the pork and serve in rolls or baguettes with a drizzle of warm pan juices, a handful of rocket and a good spoonful of apple relish

  6. And don't forget the crackling!