A hearty meal, ideal for an autumn or winter evening.
How to make a pudding bag:Take a piece of muslin fabric approximately 10 inches by 6 inches. Fold it in half and sew across one end and up the side opposite the fold. Turn inside out. Use kitchen or butcher twine to tie open end.
Vegetables and Beef: Soak salt beef overnight in cold water in a large pot (not required if using corned beef). In the morning, change the water and put the pot on medium heat. (If using corned beef, place in the pot and cover with stock and cook till tender.) Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium.
Drain and rinse the split peas and put in a cotton bag. Tie the bag loosely leaving room for the peas to expand and suspend in the pot with the salt beef. Simmer for about 90 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook them separately in a pot with a small amount of mirepoix − diced carrot, onion and celery, about 3½ oz (100 g) of each. Once cooked, mash and add seasoning and butter.
Peel the turnip and cut into wedges; peel the carrots and parsnips and cut in half. Peel and wash the potatoes and add to pot along with the turnip, carrots and parsnips. Boil for about 20-30 minutes, until tender. Cut the cabbage into wedges leaving the stump in place to hold the wedges together. Add to pot, cover and continue to boil for another 15 minutes.
Roast pork: Score the fat cap of the pork roast. Do not cut through the fat to the flesh. Rub salt and pepper into the score lines. Place in a covered roaster and roast at 325°F (165°C), 20-25 minutes per pound (500 g). About 35-40 minutes before service remove cover from the roaster to allow the skin to crisp. Time the roast to be ready 10 minutes ahead of the pot of vegetables. When ready, drain the juices from roast into a saucepan and allow the roast to rest.
Gravy: Heat the juices from roast over medium heat and deglaze − scraping the bottom of roasting pan to release the meat scraps and add stock or water, enough to obtain 2 cups of liquid.
In a cup or jar put 2-3 tbsp of flour and slowly mix in cold water to make a thin paste. Gradually add the flour mix into the saucepan, stirring continuously as the gravy thickens to avoid lumps. Strain before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Final assembly: Remove pea pudding bag from pot. Untie top and turn out into bowl. Add butter and a little pepper and whisk with fork until smooth. Fish all the vegetables and beef from the pot with a slotted spoon and arrange on a platter or in serving bowls. Slice pork roast and arrange on platter. Pour gravy into gravy boat and serve all hot.