Perry, for the uninitiated, is pear hard cider. Where we live it’s made on local farms around this time of autumn and sold at local fares. We were at an apple extravaganza yesterday and I managed to score a liter of freshly made perry from a farm in mid-Wales.
So what to do with the perry? Well the obvious option is to drink it (and quickly suggested the farmer as it consists of fermented pear juice and no preservatives). Except I’m not a big cider drinker so I applied the perry to the next best purpose – as a liquid base for roasting a shoulder of pork.
Here’s how I did it:
Preheated the oven to 340 degrees F.
In a large covered casserole, I rubbed a small 2lb pork shoulder with pimenton de la vera and olive oil, crackling side up. Next I added:
- three cups of Perry (any pure apple or pear juice would work)
- half a cup of water
- two thinly sliced cloves of garlic
- an onion (quartered)
- two cloves
- a sprinkling of nutmeg
- sprinkling of salt and pepper.
I covered the casserole and put it in the oven for 1 3/4 hours, basting the meat with the liquid every 30 minutes.
Once the meat is cooked, I set aside to rest and then reduced the remaining liquid by half, then pureed the remainder with a hand whisk. I returned the puree (very thin) to the pan and reduced and thickened over a high heat with the helpd of a teaspoon of cornstarch (mixed first with two parts water).
The pork was tender from being cooked in the liquid and both smokey and sweet from the pimenton and perry.
I served with mashed potato, sauteed carrots and Brussel’s sprouts.