Garlic & Thyme Roast Leg of Pork | Hanepoot Apples | Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes
Growing up, roast leg of pork with apple sauce was a given as part of our weekly Sunday roast, Christmas lunch or any other special occasion for that matter. There is something so comforting about roasted pork leg with its sweet, tender meat (if cooked correctly) and crispy AF crackling with a touch of stickiness to it. I've been asked many times how I cook a leg of pork, so today, I share my way. This leg of pork is seasoned with garlic, thyme and loads of salt and roasted to perfection. I serve it with spiced apples cooked in hanepoot jerepigo or any other fortified/dessert wine varietal. I also make a quick onion and cider gravy that is lush with the pork too. And no roast is complete without roast potatoes, so I share my recipe for crispy duck fat slow roasted potatoes.
- 3 kg Pork Leg Bone in and unscored - try Pork 360 quality assured pork available at Food Lover's Market
- 30 ml (2 T) Coarse salt
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 10 ml (2 tsp) dried thyme
- 4 pink lady apples cored, peeled and cut into wedges
- 15 ml (1 T) butter
- 6 cloves
- 250 ml (1 c) hanepoot jerepigo or other fortified wine
- 60 ml water
- 45 ml (3 T) brown sugar
- 6 large floury avalanche potatoes, boiled in jackets until tender, cooled
- 500 ml duck fat
- 1 L cooking oil canola or sunflower - You are welcome to replace with more duck fat
- Freshly ground salt
- Preheat the oven to 240 Degrees Celsius (fan assisted).
- Score the skin of the pork in parallel lines about 2 cm apart.
- Combine the salt, thyme and garlic and rub generously onto the whole leg - esp the skin.
- Place pork onto a roasting rack and roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 180 Degrees Celsius and roast for a further 2 hours 30 minutes (or 25 minutes per 500 g in weight). At the thickest part, the thermometer should read 70 Degrees Celsius when done. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
- Gently peel the potatoes and cut into halves or quarters. Place them in a large bowl or colander and give them a good shake (to rough up the surfaces of the potatoes).
- Place the duck fat and oil in a large baking tray and pop into the 180 Degree Celsius oven for 20 minutes to heat up. Add the potatoes to the tray and roast for 1 hour (the last hour of roasting time with the pork), turning the spuds halfway through. When pork is removed after the last 1 hour, crank the heat up to 200 Degrees Celsius and roast the potatoes for a further 30 minutes (while pork is resting) until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, place on paper towel to absorb excess oil and season generously with freshly ground salt and a few fresh thyme leaves.
- While pork and spuds are in the oven, prepare the hanepoot apples.
- Heat the butter in a large pan, add the apples and cloves and saute for a few minutes to give the apples some colour. Add the jerepigo wine, water and sugar and simmer uncovered for 15- 20 minutes or until apples are tender and liquid has reduced to one third.
- During this time, prepare other veggies of your choice. Brussels sprouts, green beans, cabbage, carrots, peas...
- For the cider gravy: Heat 15 ml butter in the roasting pan with its cooking juices and saute 1 thinly sliced onion with a few sprigs of fresh thyme until softened and caramelised. Add 500 ml apple cider or vegetable stock. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Make a paste with 10 ml corn flour and 30 ml water and whisk into the onion and cider liquid over moderate heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Tip, the more caramelised your onions are, the darker your gravy will be.
- To serve: Pull crackling off the rested pork and break into pieces. Thinly slice the pork meat with a sharp knife and arrange on a serving platter or board with the crackling. Serve with crispy duck fat potatoes, hanepoot apples, onion and cider gravy and veggies of your choosing.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!