This is simply Autumnal fare at its finest. With achingly good crispy pork crackling, tender meat and indulgent creamy vegetables, this could be one of those meals vying for a spot on your 'last supper' list.
3 heads of fennel
500ml of double cream
2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
2 bay leaves
A sprig of thyme
A sprig of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
For the roast pork leg
Preheat the oven to 210C.
Fill the bottom of a roasting dish with garden herbs, we like the woody aromatics of sage and thyme, then place the pork leg on top of the herbs and cover the skin generously with good quality sea salt.
Place in the oven at 210C for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for around 30-35 minutes, or until the core temperature of the joint reaches 50C using a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
To make the gratin
Pour the milk and the cream into a pan, along with the herbs, mushrooms and garlic. Gently warm through to allow all of the aromatics to take hold of the liquid. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat and leave to infuse for a further 20 minutes. Generously season the cream so that the liquor can season your other ingredients.
Finely shred the fennel and the leeks, then pack tightly into a shallow baking dish. Pour the infused cream over the top of the vegetables and grate the cheddar over the top of the dish. Place in the oven set at 180C for 35 minutes.
Serve a heap of the rich gratin alongside the Saddleback pork for a true taste of Autumn.