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Slow-roast shoulder of pork with stuffed squash

Serves 8slow roast shoulder of pork with stuffed squash on a chopping board with a brown and white checked table cloth

Sunday lunch can seem dauntingly expensive if you’re trying to feed a crowd. But slow-cooked pork shoulder is one of the most satisfying joints (so tender) and, relatively, very cheap. It also looks magnificent. You can vary the stuffing by using dried fruit instead of mushrooms, or add grated Parmesan or wilted spinach.


Ingredients

For the pork

  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2.8kg (6lb) boned shoulder of pork, rind scored
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 800ml (1 ½ pints) dry cider or white wine

For the squash

  • 2 small squash or pumpkins
  • 75g (2 ½oz) pancetta, chopped
  • 200g (7oz) mushrooms, quartered
  • 200g (7oz) brown basmati, wild and
  • Camargue red rice (or just brown and wild)
  • 500ml (18 fl oz) chicken stock or water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Season the inside of the pork. Roll up and tie at intervals with kitchen string. Rub with oil and season well. Put in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and pour in half the alcohol. Cook for another 25 minutes per 500g (1lb 2oz) – about 2 ½ hours in total – basting and adding more cider or wine as you go.
  2. Meanwhile, halve the squash and scoop out the fibres and seeds. Score a lattice on the flesh. Put in a roasting tin and smear with 15g ( ½oz) of the butter. Season and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  3. 3 Melt another 15g (½oz) of the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onion until quite soft. Add the pancetta, mushrooms and remaining butter and sauté until coloured. Stir in the rice to coat, season and add the stock or water. Cover, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. When the pork is cooked (the juices should run clear, with no trace of pink, when you pierce the meat), take it from the oven and put on a heated platter. Cover with foil, insulate well and rest for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/ gas mark 5.
  5. Spoon the rice stuffing into the squash cavities, mixing it with the butter that has collected there. Return to the oven for 30 minutes. The flesh should become completely tender and the tops golden.
  6. Meanwhile, pour the cooking juices from the pork into a jug and remove the fat. Deglaze the roasting tin with more cider, white wine or water (only about 100ml/ 3 ½ fl oz), add the pork juices and bubble away until you have a thin, tasty gravy. Serve the pork with the gravy and squash.

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