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Mary Berry’s Slow-roast Hand and Spring with Crackling and Onion Gravy

Mary Berry's tender braised and slow-roasted hand and spring pork is the ultimate Sunday roast pork recipe. As seen in the BBC2 series Simple Comforts.

From the book


The hand and spring of pork is the upper part of the front leg and is usually sold boned and rolled as a joint. It is less expensive than leg or loin, the major roasting joints. For this recipe, the meat is left on the bone and is braised slowly with onions and herbs until beautifully tender. You can also cook belly of pork this way.

Catch all of your favourite recipes from Mary’s new series, Simple Comforts, here.

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2 tbsp salt
1 hand and spring pork joint, skin scored
3 large onions, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
8 bay leaves
small bunch of sage, tied together
700ml (1¼ pints) hot chicken or vegetable stock
25g (1oz) butter
25g (1oz) plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7. Rub salt over the skin of the pork joint. Put the onions, garlic, bay leaves and sage into a small, deep roasting tin, then pour in the stock. Sit the joint on top, skin side up.

2. Cover the whole tray with foil and seal the edges tightly. Place in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/130°C fan/Gas 3 and cook for 2½–3 hours, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.

3. Transfer the pork to a board. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the onions into a bowl, cover and keep them warm. Remove the bay leaves and sage and discard them. Strain the stock into a jug.

4. Line a baking sheet with foil. Carefully remove the skin from the pork, then snip it into strips with scissors, place on the foil and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pork with foil and keep it warm.

5. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7. Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook the skin for 5–10 minutes until crackled and crisp.

6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir over the heat for a few seconds to make a roux. Pour in the hot stock from the pork, whisking until the sauce has thickened. Check the seasoning.

7. Pull the pork off the bone and arrange the meat with the onions on a serving dish. Snip the crackling into pieces and place alongside, then serve with a jug of the hot gravy.


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From the book: Simple Comforts

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