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Roast Pork with Apples & Blackberries

Every autumn I go blackberry picking in the country. It’s something I start to look forward to at the beginning of autumn and taking an afternoon to walk along the country roads, with a basket in hand foraging for the plumpest berries is heaven. Their juicy sweetness with the sour cooking apples, soaking into the pork while it roasts is incredible. The apple crisps are so simple to make and look fabulous dotted around the serving dish. I like to serve a creamy gratin dauphinoise with this dish or simple buttery mashed potatoes.

SERVES 6

200g cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced

30 fresh blackberries

1 onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves

40g fresh white breadcrumbs

50g butter, melted

1.5kg boneless loin of pork

3 rosemary sprigs

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE APPLE CRISPS

2 cooking apples

ground cinnamon, for dusting

FOR THE APPLE & BLACKBERRY SAUCE

400g cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

20 fresh blackberries

2 tablespoons caster sugar

50g butter

100ml water

1 rosemary sprig

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Add the apples, blackberries, onion, chopped rosemary, breadcrumbs and melted butter to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Butterfly the pork loin by making a slit down its length, cutting just deep enough so that you can open the loin up to lie flat like a book; don’t cut all the way through. Spoon the stuffing mixture onto the meat and spread it evenly, then close up the meat and secure it in its original shape by tying it together at intervals with kitchen string, tucking the rosemary sprigs under the string. Push in any stuffing that escapes from the ends.

Rub the joint all over with salt and pepper and place in a roasting tray. Roast for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180ÅãC/gas mark 4, and roast for a further 1 hour 10 minutes (or 20 minutes per 450g).

While the pork is roasting, prepare the apple crisps. Core the apples and slice very thinly through the middle. Dust with cinnamon and lay on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

Bake in the oven with the pork (at the lower temperature) for 45 minutes– 1 hour, turning halfway through, until dried out and light golden, checking and removing any crisps that are ready as and when.

Meanwhile, make the apple and blackberry sauce. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, cover the pan with a lid and cook gently, stirring every so often, for 15–20 minutes until the apples start to break down.

Once the pork is cooked, pour about 100ml of the cooking juices into the sauce and stir well.

Serve slices of pork with the hot apple and blackberry sauce and apple crisps.

This recipe is from Clodagh’s Suppers by Clodagh McKenna