Very soon the cricket world cup will be taking place. Cricket is never a game I understood, it is filled with mysterious phrase like “googly” and “hoik” as well as strange positions like “silly mid on”. The main principles are fine but the scoring and rules are a mystery. The game does bring to mind Summer days in England watching a local team play on the village green. You could sit and listen to the thwack of the ball on the bat, enjoying the sunshine and never quite following the action. Occasionally the air would be punctuated with cheers as someone hit a run. Shortly the cricket world cup will be starting. If you have a sports mad husband like I do the television will be on and there will be a blow by blow account of the action. There is something soothing about listening to the cricket in the background even if you are not following it. It is a gentle game, which moves slowly. There are a range of nations taking part from Australia and New Zealand to the West Indies, South Africa and Pakistan and back home to England and Scotland. I wanted to create a recipe from one of the nations taking part so I decided to create a Scottish recipe and made Roast Pork with Skirlie and apples in a maple whisky sauce.
There are a lot of recipes from Scotland which are well known like Scotch Broth or Cock-a-leekie soup. Scotland is also famous for salmon and haggis. Skirlie is a traditional Scottish recipe which is normally served as a side dish or a stuffing. There is something magical about the name, it sounds as if it is some magical fairy tale creature lurking in the wood ready to grant your wishes. Skirlie just trips off your tongue, it is one of those words you want to keep saying. It is made from onions and oatmeal with plenty of seasoning, pan fried in suet or dripping. It does not have the same consistency as porridge, it is more chewy and flavourful. It is a lovely addition to a roast meal.
The time for roasting the pork depends on the size of the joint. I normally cook mine at 180°C, gas mark 4. I calculate the cooking time based on the weight, allowing 35 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 35 minutes. To make the crackling perfect rub some oil into the fat and then score it with a knife. Rub in a mixture of salt and pepper in a thin even layer. Place in the oven for the allocated time and make sure the pork is thoroughly cooked before you serve. To go along with the roast pork I roasted some potatoes, made some mash and cooked some carrots and broccoli. It was a perfect roast dinner.
Apple sauce is the perfect accompaniment to pork and to go along with the Scottish theme I decided to poach mine in a sauce which was made from maple syrup, mustard, whisky and some stock. This worked really well adding a subtle flavouring to the apples that worked really well with the Skirlie and the pork.
The Skirlie is filling and would work equally well as an accompaniment for chicken or turkey. It would also be lovely mashed into potatoes adding extra flavour and texture to them. It is really quick and easy to make and a great addition to the meal. If you were feeling ambitious you could make a crust for the pork from it. The meal was delicious and was lovely to sit down to on a Sunday.