christmas pig

Attentive readers will remember that we always have a goose for Christmas. But they’re getting more and more expensive, and there’s not much eating on ’em, so this year we thought we’d have a change. We had a big piece of pork, which I did in a Scandinavian stylee, after I’d seen a recipe in the Times (sorry, it’s paywalled, so I can’t link).

Basically, you take the skin off a shoulder of pork so it’s in one piece (or, alternatively, you get your butcher to do it – T L Norman on Princes Ave, Hull are fab, and always do any prep I want). Then score the meat, and rub in a mix of cardamom pods, chilli, star anise, lemon zest. Stick the skin back on the top, into an oven at 190C. Our pig was 2.5kgs, so it got 2.5 hours, and I did put a piece of foil over it for the first hour.

‘Twas utterly splendid, and was served with roasted potatoes and parsnips, spiced red cabbage and apple, brussels sprouts, apple and calvados sauce, and a creamy gravy. The flavour in the meat was fabulous – it permeated right through and I will most certainly be doing it again.

I don’t know how much it cost – my Christmas meat bill was £38, to include a dozen eggs, 8 thick rashers of back bacon, and three tubes of sausagemeat, but however much, it was a damn sight less than a goose, which cost us the thick end of £70 last year.

It fed three greedy people on 25th, two greedy people on Boxing Day, and another two slightly less greedy people the day after that. Then we were going away for a bit so we put the remains in the freezer. It came out again this week, fed us with roast veg on Sunday, and the last of it has gone into marinade with sesame oil, cornflour and shoyu for a stir fry tonight.