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There is an ancient word that epitomises the festivities of the colder months; 'Wassail'. The term Wassail first appeared around the 1500's in the cider making counties of England. Villagers would gather together on a frosty evening, bonfires lit, singing folky carols, blessing the trees in the old orchards and banishing evil spirits, all to ensure the vitality of the next seasons harvest.

This recipe is the sort of feast I can well imagine the villagers passing around the table. A joint of handsome pork adorned with the seasons trimmings, all washed down with a glass of local cider.

Ingredients

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. To prepare the pork shoulder, season it well and then place it into a large roasting tray. Roast at 180C for 2 ½ hours.

  • To the roasting tin, add in the chopped apple and celeriac. Shuffle them around the tray so that they are lovingly coated in the golden savoury meat juices. Pop back in the oven and roast for a further 30 minutes.

  • While the pork is roasting in the oven, put the milk, cream, rosemary and spices into a pan, bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for around 20 minutes.

  • Remove the pork from the oven and pour the infused aromatic cream mixture over the celeriac and apples in the tray. For the final time, pop the pork and the now creamy and golden vegetables back in the oven for a further 15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and carve the pork joint, serving with a big spoonful of the creamy trimmings.

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