For roasting, leg slices well, shoulder is good for pulling and shredding, and belly is great for pressing. I use the same method for all three, the only changes are timing and temperature.
Choose a joint with a good layer of rind, make sure that it is scored. Pre heat the oven to the highest setting, or 250c Put the kettle on. Place a wire rack, into the sink or over the bowl. Place the pork, skin side up onto it. Pour the boiling water directly onto the skin, and generously massage fine salt onto it. Slice some onions and potato into 2cm thick rounds (no need to peel) and place in a baking tray – not too deep, because we need the air to circulate around the crackling, but deep enough to collect the juices as they are expelled. Herbs that go well with pork are, thyme, rosemary and sage.
Guide cooking times are
Pork leg 15 minutes at the very high temperature, then turn the oven down to 120c and roast for a further 2 hours per kilo.
Pork shoulder, add 1 hour to the total cooking time at the lower temperature.
Pork belly, add 2 hours to the total cooking time at the lower temperature.
I make an onion sauce, as an alternative to apple sauce.
50g unsalted butter.
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
6 small cooking onions, peeled and quartered.
3-4 sprigs of thyme.
1 teaspoon of salt.
½ teaspoon of sugar.
200ml of dry white wine.
Water as necessary
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
Saute the onions, thyme and salt in the butter and oil until they are soft but not browned. Cover the pan and let them ‘sweat’ over a low heat for 20 minutes. Add the sugar and wine and let the liquid reduce by half on a low heat for roughly 20 minutes. Add the vinegar, this will lift the flavours.
Serve it warm, not hot and not chilled.