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Pork, celeriac, garlic

This pot-roast of unctuous, melting pork and layers of yielding celeriac has an incredible depth of flavour. To maximise your chance of getting some good crackling, leave the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight before roasting, to help dry out the skin.


Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and rub with a little oil. Place in a large oven dish – a big cast-iron casserole with a lid is ideal, but a large roasting dish will work too. Score the skin, sprinkle with salt and lay it over the meat. Roast, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes until the joint is well coloured and golden and the skin is puffed and crackled.

Meanwhile, peel the celeriac and cut them into quarters. Cut each quarter into slices, the thickness of a £1 coin.

Take the casserole dish out of the oven and lower the oven setting to 140°C/Gas 1. If the skin has failed to crackle completely, don’t worry, you can crisp it up later; set it aside. Put the pork on a plate.

Layer the celeriac in the casserole, sprinkling over some thyme leaves, if using, and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Place the pork on top. Scatter over the garlic cloves, pour over the stock or water and tuck in the bay leaves, if using. Place the lid on or cover very tightly with foil. Cook in the oven for a further 3 hours or until the pork is meltingly tender.

Allow the pork to rest in a warm place for 15–20 minutes. In the meantime, if you need to crisp up the crackling, place it under a hot grill for a few minutes; otherwise just warm it in the oven. Slice the pork and serve with spoonfuls of the melting celeriac, some sweet, soft garlic and the rich pan juices.

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  • 1.5–2kg piece of boned and rolled spare rib of pork, skin removed and reserved for crackling
  • A little olive, rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 2 medium celeriac
  • A small bunch of thyme, leaves only (optional)
  • 2 garlic bulbs, cloves separated and peeled
  • 300ml water or vegetable, chicken or pork stock
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

Hugh’s Three Good Things