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    Thyme-Roasted Pork with Pan-Fried Pears and Perry Gravy

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    Thyme-Roasted Pork with Pan-Fried Pears and Perry Gravy

    Hunky pork and voluptuous, sweet pears - this is a marriage made in heaven.

    • Gluten Free
    • Nut Free
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 120 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 25 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 25 minutes

    Serves: 6 (with leftovers)


    • 2kg leg of pork boned, or belly, rolled and scored
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • For the gravy
    • 500ml Waitrose Perry (pear cider)
    • 100ml double cream
    • For the pears
    • 25g unsalted butter
    • 3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into quarters, lengthways
    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
    • For the roasted garlic and shallots
    • 18-24 shallots, about 400-540g
    • 12 cloves garlic


    1. Remove the pork from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7, and dry the pork with a kitchen paper towel.
    2. Check the pork skin has been thoroughly scored, and if necessary, add a few more cuts using a very sharp knife. Rub the salt thoroughly into the skin, then tuck the thyme into the centre of the meat. Place the pork in a roasting tray.
    3. Calculate the cooking time for the pork, allowing 25 minutes per 500g plus 25 minutes. Roast the pork on the highest shelf for the first hour then turn the oven down to 190°C, gas mark 5 for the remaining cooking time.
    4. Meanwhile, to cook the roasted garlic and shallots, pour boiling water over the shallots and leave for 5 minutes: this makes it easier to remove the skins. Put the whole garlic cloves in a small saucepan with boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Run the garlic cloves under cold water and peel off the skins.
    5. Add the shallots and garlic to the pork about 45 minutes before the end of the roasting time. When the pork is cooked and the juices run clear, transfer it onto a serving plate, keep warm and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots and garlic into a heatproof serving dish, leaving behind a few of the garlic cloves to mash into the pan juices. Keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
    6. While the pork is resting, heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the pear quarters until tender and golden. After a minute or two, stir in the sugar, turning the heat to low if the pears are browning too much but still not soft. Spoon into a serving dish and keep warm.
    7. Place the roasting tray with the pan juices directly onto the hob. Scrape in any residue stuck to the pan, and mash in the garlic cloves you have left. Add the perry, bring to the boil and pour in the cream (don’t worry if it looks as though it is curdling). Let the gravy bubble and reduce until it is a sauce consistency. Add some freshly ground black pepper but no salt as some will undoubtedly have crept off the crackling. Pour into a gravy boat to serve.

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    Cook's tips

    Take the pork out of any wrapping as soon as you get it home and store it on a plate in the fridge. If the crackling isn’t crispy enough once the pork is cooked, remove it from the pork and cut it up with kitchen scissors. Pop it onto a baking tray and put it back into the oven, at 220°C, gas mark 7, to crispen up.


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    4 stars