Justin Woods, head chef at The Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, and Greenhouse restaurant

When I cook pork it’s never really tender enough. What am I doing wrong?

James Page, Ulverston

Pork can be a difficult meat to cook and really falls into two types of cooking. Prime cuts like loins, fillets and chops need fast, hot cooking, secondary cuts like shoulders, belly and legs need long, slow cooking. For me the secondary cuts are the best cuts to use. Cheaper to buy, far more flavour but the do require longer, slower cooking. For me the finest of the cuts is pork shoulder, again, as I always suggest, buy your meat from a local butcher and ask them about where they source their meat from. I would buy a 2kg piece of bone-in, skin on pork shoulder, it will feed enough for 4 people. Pre-heat your oven to 220C. Place the pork shoulder of a clean surface skin side up. Score the skin, but not the meat, with a small sharp knife, make the scores about 1cm apart. Rub some course sea salt into all the scores, turn over and season the underside with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tray and cook for about 30 minutes or until the skin starts to puff up. Turn the oven down to 170C, cover the pork in a double layer of tin foil. Cook for a further 4 hours. Remove from oven and carefully lift of foil. Place pork on a clean board and pour of most of the fat. Add some diced carrots, onions and celery to the tray, place the pork on top and roast for a further 1 hour. Remove pork from tray, drain off excess fat again, then add 600ml chicken stock and place on a hob. Bring to the boil, then simmer, stirring constantly to scrape off all the sticky bits on the bottom of the tray. When you have a nice, dark gravy pass through a sieve into a jug. Serve the pork with some roast potatoes, steamed vegetables, the pork gravy and a good apple sauce. It’s not going to be a nice carving joint, but it should shred apart with a couple of forks.