Mrs Bailey’s Slow-Roasted Pork
One of the charms of Mrs Bailey’s approach to the kitchen is how ready she is to adopt new ideas and other ways, however foreign they may be to her own tradition.
On the other hand, she won’t yield an inch in defence of that tradition, where she feels that her way is the better way. For example, she takes note of the American fondness for roasting pork until it literally falls off the bone, and then pulling the meat to shreds and moistening those with a sauce; she has served it this way on occasion, memorably when the US Ambassador was the school’s guest for Speech Day (much to everyone’s chagrin, that being the one year of young Elspeth’s tenure that she didn’t win a prize, so no one got to cheer her on her way to receive it from her father). However, Mrs B does still feel that the English custom of serving pork in slices is much to be preferred.
Nevertheless, she has learned from our American cousins, in that these days she favours roasting the pork all day in a very low oven, so that when she comes to carve, it is only just holding together beneath her exceedingly sharp knife.
Sometimes she serves it with roast potatoes and vegetables, as she was raised to do. Again, though, she’s not shy to take a leaf from the American book and let the girls fill their own buns with meat and whatever else they choose from a wide array of relishes. Though, harking back to those English roots again, there will always be a bowl of her own apple sage sauce among those relishes, alongside the pickles and the chutneys and the mustards and so forth.
Ten-pound pork shoulder, rind removed, on the bone for preference
150g kosher salt
Yesterday, you should rub the pork all over with the salt-and-sugar mix, and leave it in the fridge or a cool place overnight.
Come the morning, rinse the pork and set it in a roasting dish, with a pint of water.
Heat the oven to 300F, insert the pork, and leave it alone.
Every hour, disturb it by basting with the fat/liquor in the dish.
After about eight hours, it should be done. Let it rest for an hour longer, then slice and serve with Mrs Bailey’s sesame-seed buns, and whatever else you like by way of accompaniments.
You can find more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here: