Gooseberries should be enjoyed in both savoury and in sweet dishes.
Fresh, juicy and plump gooseberries are truly a delight of summer and we need to enjoy them while we can, both in savoury and in sweet dishes.
Slow-roasted, gooseberry-stuffed rolled pork belly with gooseberry relish
- 1kg–1.5kg piece pork belly
- Sea salt
- 50g gooseberries
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
For the relish
- 1 finely diced shallot
- 2tbspn olive oil
- 350g gooseberries
- 25g brown sugar
- 30g white-wine vinegar
- 1tspn sea salt
- 8 peppercorns
Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6. Place the pork belly skin side up on a board and score gently with a knife, taking care not to cut all the way through to the meat. Sprinkle with sea salt, rubbing it into the skin, then turn the pork over and scatter with the gooseberries, herbs and seasoning. Carefully roll it up and tie in three places to secure.
Cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, before lowering the temperature to 170ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3 and roasting for a further 2½ hours. (If the crackling hasn’t crackled enough, you can put it under the grill for five minutes at the end.)
While the meat cooks, prepare the relish. Fry the shallot in olive oil and sweat to soften but not brown—about 10 minutes releases its full sweetness. Add the cleaned, topped and tailed gooseberries, sugar, vinegar, salt and peppercorns, mix together well and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep over the heat for about 20 minutes, until the fruit begins to burst, then set aside.
Once the pork belly is done, allow to rest before serving with the gooseberry relish and a lightly dressed salad for a summer twist on comfort food.
More ways with gooseberries
Gooseberry, strawberry and hazelnut crumble
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Top and tail 600g of gooseberries with scissors, hull 300g of strawberries (leaving them whole, unless very large) and arrange together in an oven-
proof dish. For the crumble, rub the following together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs: 100g of chopped, roasted hazelnuts, 200g of plain flour, 100g of light Demerara sugar and 100g of unsalted butter. Scatter the crumble mixture over the fruit, then bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is gently browned and the fruit is bubbling at the sides. Serve with a generous splash of double cream.
This is the classic gooseberry recipe. First, wash, top and tail some gooseberries and cook them gently with a little caster sugar, then leave to cool. Next, whip cream with a little icing sugar and fold through an equal amount of Greek yoghurt. Spoon some of the mixture into a glass, add a few of the cooked gooseberries and repeat until the glass is full. Serve immediately, preferably in the garden on
a sunny afternoon.
Cooking with clotted cream turns any summer meal into a special occasion.
A British summer without strawberries would be unthinkable.
Swirled into hummus and served with roasted rack of lamb or blended into soup, just two of our favourite nettle…