Dinner: Roast Pork

Ireland is on course to become the most obese country in Europe, according to the latest figures from World Health Organisation (WHO) experts. Of course the real issue lies with all the health problems that go hand in hand with obesity. This article from the Irish Times makes for sobering reading http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/ireland-set-to-be-most-obese-country-in-europe-who-says-1.2201731

Unfortunately the article does not mention sugar as being the root cause of this epidemic, mentioning instead the importance of making “healthy foods more affordable”. I would argue that buying whole real food is no more expensive if you make the right shopping choices.

The article also speaks to the importance of exercise, which does of course have many health benefits. However, don’t forget exercise drives appetite and that you cannot outrun a bad diet! Read more on this in these two articles



Todays dinner is a repeat of one done before. It’s shoulder of pork and is an ideal weekend dinner because of its long slow cooking time. Also its extremely reasonably priced. This full shoulder cost 13 euro at a real butchers, enough to feed a family of 4 with large appetites for 2 days.

Don’t discard the crackling! It’s delicious and full of good natural fats. A full shoulder will feed about 8 adults. Any leftovers can be used to make a delicious pork stir-fry.



  • 1/2 or full shoulder of pork
  • 200ml of cider apple vinegar
  • 100ml of water
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 4 tsp of finely chopped dried chillis
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.

Place the pork on a clean work surface, skin-side up. With a sharp knife and make scores about a centimetre apart through the skin into the fat, but not into the meat. Rub salt into all the scores

Turn it over and season the bottom of the meat with salt and pepper. Put the pork, skin-side up, in a roasting tray in the preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes, until the skin of the pork has started to turn into crackling.

Now turn the heat down to 170 degC. Cover the pork tightly with a double layer of tinfoil, and continue to roast for a further 4 hours for a half shoulder or 5 1/2 hours if it’s a full shoulder. You will know when it is cooked when the meat falls off the bone.

If you wish, at this stage you can remove the crackling, and place it for a few minutes under a hot grill to get it extra crispy. Divine!

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