Celebrate Surrey Day - With our pork paired with Kingfisher Watercress Pesto.

To the uninitiated Surrey could just appear to be a gigantic suburb of London, a dormitory for those who head into the city each day to make a living.

For those of us fortunate to live and work on the land in Surrey it's so much more than that - it's a rich bounty of incredible countryside peppered with the most incredible and dedicated food and drink producers.  Hence Surrey Day!  On 7th May, we celebrate Surrey and all its gastronomic bounties.

One of my very favourite cuts of our pork is a French Trimmed Loin or rack of pork, its kind of old school, however as a different roast dinner option you can't beat it.  For this recipe I have paired it with some steamed Surrey asparagus, hassle-back potatoes and a delicious watercress pesto, made from finest Kingfisher Watercress - which has been grown in the Tillingbourne Valley since the 1850's, by the same family.

For the pork, you can choose a 6, 8 or 10 bone rack of pork, depending on the size of the group you are feeding.  I would score the skin with a sharpe knife, perhaps a Stanley knife or simalar.  The rub generously with English rapeseed oil, coarse sea salt and ground pepper.  Place in the oven at 200c, I would suggest you aim to cook it for 40 minutes per kilo, with around 20 minutes over.  However I always use a meat thermometer.  Every oven is different and this will ensure you get great tasting succulent pork without drying out the joint.  As soon as the core of the pork hits 70c, remove it from the heat.  Whip off the crispy crackling with a sharpe knife then wrap the rack of pork in food wrap to rest.  The latent heat in the pork will keep it cooking too over 74c.  Once rested slice and serve - 1 bone per person.

For the pesto to accompany you will need - 

1 bunch of Kingfisher Watercress

A small handful of fresh basil leaves

1tsp of garlic puree or 1 clove of garlic crushed

75g of grated parmesan cheese or simalar

6 - 8 Tbsp of English Rapeseed Oil

The grated zest & juice of 1 lemon

50g of toasted pine nuts (cool before use)

Salt & pepper to taste

The method is simple, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor to make a paste.  Once blended check for seasoning and adjust as required.  If the mix is too stiff simply add more rapeseed oil.  The pesto has a wonderful flavour and texture, with great peppery overtones from the watercress - there's nothing quite like it!

I served the pork with a generous helping of the pesto, hassle-back potatoes, seasoned with garlic salt and some steamed Surrey asparagus.  It's a delicious spring roast and brimming with the rich flavours of our wonderful county!

For best results wash down with a glass or two of the latest Albury Estate Rosé!

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