A Summer Roast

It’s June and it’s 11 oC here in the Highlands.  Perfect running weather and perfect roast dinner weather.  Perhaps if you live warmer climes, the thought of turning on the oven in the month of June makes you shudder.  Does it, sun-dwellers?  Does it?

If it does, then read no further.  Come back to this post when the temperatures dip and you are once more able to face turning that dial up.  But do come back because this is a wee cracker of a meal.  The flavours are light and summery and the meat is moist with a layer of crisp crackling.  It’s the potatoes who are the star of the show though.  As the lemons break down and the pork  begins to release its juices, the new potatoes soak up all that flavour and become slightly gooey and caramelised on the outside.

Best served in a sunny conservatory with a glass of white wine and thoughts of warmer days.

Roast Pork and New Potatoes with Lemon and Thyme

(serves 4, with leftovers for sandwiches)

1.25  kg rolled loin of pork (boneless), skin scored

Salt and pepper

500g new potatoes (I’m guessing the weight here!  It was about 4 passion-fruit-sized potatoes each) scrubbed and halved

2 lemons, cut into 12 slices

1 tblspn fresh thyme leaves (half that if using dried)

Olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 220 oC.
  • Use a mortar and pestle to bash up the thyme leaves with a generous few pinches of salt and pepper.  Rub a third of this  mixture into the skin of the pork.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and sear the joint on each side for a minute or two until golden.  Place in a roasting tin and set aside.
  • Add the potatoes to some cold salted water.  Bring to the boil then drain immediately.
  • Add the potatoes, lemon, thyme mixture and a glug of olive oil to a bowl and combine well using your hands.  Scatter the potatoes around the pork joint.
  • Roast in the oven for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 200 oC.  Roast for a further 1 hour and 10 minutes, making sure you turn the potatoes every so often.  Check the meat is cooked through by either ensuring the juices run clear or inserting a meat thermometer (I use the latter technique – it’s less fiddly than removing the meat to a plate).
  • Remove from oven.  While you let the pork rest for 10 minutes before carving, pick out the lemon rinds from the potatoes and use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes from the fat to a warmed dish.
  • Serve the carved meat with the potatoes, lots of steamed green veg and a dollop of grain mustard.

16 thoughts on “A Summer Roast

  1. those potatoes look excellent!

    it is 14 C here in winter and we are all complaining how cold it is – so please keep posting winter recipes in June – they are just right for me

  2. Lovely looking bit of pork. Across the pond in Ireland, we have had winter weather over the past couple of weeks. This week gone, we had a month’s rainfall in a day. Today is a glorious sunny day with a gentle breeze. I have some BBQ posts done (done in the rain that is) and have resisted posting them for fear of the audience thinking I have lost it.
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Well, it’s a chilly 12 oC here in “sunny” Sydney Australia, and the rain is absolutely bucketing down – and on our Queen’s Birthday long weekend too! 😦
    Leg of lamb scheduled for dinner tonight as much for the added bonus of warming up the kitchen. The potatoes will get your lemon treatment – thank- you Wendy!
    Roasts in summer here often done on the outside covered BBQ- works a treat, and no oven to clean afterward.

  4. 34c and 90% humidity here in Shanghai, hellish basically! The thought of cooler days and roast dinners sounds wonderful to me at the moment, and this dinner looks particularly delicious. Thanks for transporting me back to good old Scottish summers.

  5. That looks delicious. Perfect for the kind of weather we’ve been having. It’s quite chilly and drizzly today in Nairn. I’m longing for more of the gorgeous weather we had a couple of weeks ago!

  6. Ugh- I WISH it would stay nice and cool here in Washington, DC. We’ve had a lot of peekaboo summer/winter weather, but it’s looking like the 90s (30s C) are finally here to stay (along with unbearable humidity-ick), so I’ll be scanning for ice cream recipes

  7. oh yes. turning the oven on is cray-zee and unthinkable on a 40 degree day, but then, you see, we tend to go and cook things outdoors, with flames and stuff which is just as hot, in a way, and more dangerous. your roast looks gorgeous, wendy. enjoy that summer weather! x

  8. Pingback: Best of the Foodie Blogs: Ten at Ten (23) | Foodies 100

  9. This looks delicious! I haven’t had a good roast in ages! This truly makes my mouth water!
    I’ve never had a roast that uses lemon but I bet is is amazing!

  10. Your blog is charming! I hail from too blasted sunny California, USA. Given your question about the thought of turning on the oven when living in sunnier climes (we endure average daily high temps of 44C), we try not to turn on any heat producing devices from late April to Halloween. That doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy lovely roasts such as the one you featured. We just put the roast on in a portable electric oven that is housed on the workbench in the garage . . . keeping the heat outside is priority one. Thank you for all your good works in teaching youth English, too . . . from all of us in the University of California, Merced – Writing Program. Thank you for delightful peeks into your beautiful part of the world.

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