We make our own meatballs then follow the recipe as is except we blitz the soup smooth before and serve the meatballs, hot, into the bottom of the soup bowls before spooning over the soup.
For the meatballs we finely chop half an onion, mix this with 500g pork mince and 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 1 cup of assrted grated cheese.
Use your hands to mix well and then shape into meatballs. Shallow fry each to get a nice golden colour. Place them on a baking tray and bake them on 150 celsius while the soup is cooking to ensure they are cooked through.
For the air-fried sauteed potatoes, peel and chop the potatoes into 1.5cm cubes. Place the cubes into a small casserole disk and pour over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on a tespoon of mixed herbs or Italian herbs. Leave in the dish while the air-fryer warms up.
Turn the air-fryer on for a 5 minute heat up. When rteady tip the potatoes into the basket and give a good shake around to make sure they are all loose. Cook for an initial 10 minutes. After the 10 minute cook, tip the potatoe sout of the basket back into the casserole, make sure non are sticking then return to the pan for a further 10 minutes. Once cooked to a golden brown colour right through (probably after 4 sets) loosen, shake and replace for a final 5 minutes. Rince the casserole as this can be used for serving.
Start cooking the mixed vegetables in a pan with a lid after the final 10 minute cokking slot for the potatoes. As soon as they come to the boil turn the heat off and leave the vegetables. They will finish cooking without going too soft.
Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a heavy frying pan and cook the pork steaks until they are nicely browned. Set aside and keep warm.
Add 2 teaspons of grated ginger to the pan and stir round. Use a wooden spoon to lift any pork residue from the bottom of the pan. Put 1 teaspoon of cornflour in an espresso cup, fill the cup with cider and stir to create a thick paste. Pour a cup of cider into the pan an stir round then add the cornflour/cider mix. Stir in one tablespoon of chopped chives. Bring to the boil then simmer until the sauce thickens.
Choose your favourite joint of pork. We prefer Pork Loin and a piece about 800g is perfect for the 4 of us. We try to get a piece with a nice thick layer of fat and rind still on the top so that it will make good crispy crackling.
Put the joint in a roasting tin slightly bigger than the joint itself and place in a hot over (around 200 celcius) good 2 hours before you intend to eat.
We use pre-bought Yorkshire puddings which only need 10 to 15 minutes at the end to warm up.
After the joint has been in for an hour we put in the roast potatoes. We use small dishes to roast our vegetables. Shallots, carrots, beetroot, butternut squash, sweet potato, turnip , parsnip, all roast beautifully. Make sure they are peeled cleanly and cut into decent sized chunks, they are best if they need to be cut in 2 to eat comfortably. Put about 2mm of olive oil in the bottom of the dish and place in the over alongside the pork to heat for 20 minutes. After the oil is heated, add the vegetables, mixed in each dish and spread round so that there is breathing space between each piece. Use tongs to turn everything over a few times to make sure it has a thin covering of oil and then put back in the hot oven.
We cheat with our roast potatoes in two ways. We buy duck-fat roast potatoes and we then cook them in an air fryer. It is a fabulous way of getting potatoes that are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Pre-heat the air fryer on full for about 6 minutes then place the potatoes in the basket. Cook them in 10 minute bursts 3 to 4 times, giving the basket a good shake in between each burst making sure all the potatoes are free to move.
Take the pork out after 2 hours and put on a board to rest.
We accompany this with mixed green vegetables which we cook together in a single pan. Our usual choices are sprouts, kale and beans but any green vegetable can be supplemented. We boil them together (in a pan with a lid). Bring to the boil, simmer for no more than 3 minutes then turn the heat off and leave for 5 to 10 minutes. Everything will be cooked through but still crunchy. When I drain then veg, I drain through a collander into a large jug which gives me a good couple of litres of vegetable stock to use during the week.
For the gravy, sprinkle plain flour into the baking tray and mix in so that all of the fat has been absorbed into the flour. Carefull stir in cold water then place the baking tray over a hot ring and keep stirring until it thickens. Use gravy browning if necessary to adjust the colour to what you prefer but keep stirring. Make sure the water and flour paste properly combines – I find it works best with a metal spoon for the stirring. If the gravy is too thin, carefully sprinkle more flour and rapidly stir in.
Use the timing of the final run of the potatoes to coordinate everything being ready, transfer to dishes as appropriate and serve to the table.