James Martin's home-cooked pork

Renowned chef and TV personality, James Martin shares this scrumptious pork recipe straight from his latest book, Islands to Highlands 

This recipe looks complicated, but it’s actually very simple. It can be eaten hot, but it’s also delicious cold—there’s too much for one meal so it’s great to have cold cuts. The way to get that crackling on the top is to use really good quality pork. I was brought up on a pig farm so really good quality pork was always at hand, and that’s the key.

Middle White is the best breed to go for with pork. It was particularly popular after the war and has an excellent flavour.


3kg boned pork middle loin, skin scored

For the stuffing

• 300g Dorset Blue Vinny cheese, crumbled
• 1 medium onion, grated
• 2 English apples, grated
• 1⁄2tsp ground cinnamon
• 2tbsp fennel seeds
• 100g sultanas
• 100g walnuts
• small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
• 50g breadcrumbs, chopped
• 2 eggs, beaten
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Chutneys, pickles and/or watercress (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas mark 9. Put all the ingredients for the stuffing in a large bowl, seasoning well at the end. Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

2. Lay the pork on a board and unroll it skin-side down. Using a sharp knife and starting at one end, carefully cut the meat in half horizontally, working almost to the very end so that it’s still attached on one side.

3.Open out the length of the meat so that you have a very long rectangle. Spoon the stuffing over the entire surface of the meat and smooth over so that it sits in an even layer. Starting from the end with no skin attached, roll the meat tightly along its length to enclose the filling.

4. Secure with string: cut a length of string at least five times the length of the joint. Make a noose in the end of the string, loop it around the pork, then pull the string through the noose and pull it tight. Continue to work down the joint, wrapping the string around the underside of the joint and back around to meet the string at the top, then feeding the string over and under the string at the top, pulling it taught each time. Tie it at the end to secure.

5. Place the pork onto a rack set in a roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes. After this time, turn the oven down to 140°C/gas mark 1 and roast for another 1.5 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool. Transfer to a plate and chill in the fridge overnight.

6.When you’re ready to serve, take the porchetta out of the fridge and leave for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Cut off the string, slice and serve with chutneys, pickles, and a handful of watercress.

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