The Moorish flavours of this dish hold up brilliantly against rich pork loin whilst the sherry and figs cooked with the meat create a delicious sweet and sticky sauce.
- 100g (4oz) cooking chorizo
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1.5kg (3lb 6oz) British pork loin, boned, skinned, rolled and tied (ask your Butcher to do this for you)
- 1tbsp sea salt
- 1tbsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- 1tbsp oil
- 6 figs, quartered
- black olives
- 250ml (9fl oz) Pedro Ximinez sweet sherry
- 300ml (1/2pt) free-range chicken stock
- juice 1/2 lemon
Heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. In a large casserole, which will fit the rolled pork loin, gently cook the chorizo until browned. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook for 10 minutes until softened then remove the ingredients from the casserole and set aside.
Roll the pork loin in the seasoning, cumin seeds and thyme then heat the oil in the casserole and brown the meat all over. Return the chorizo mixture to the pan, add the figs and olives and pour over half the sherry.
Tear a piece of greaseproof paper larger than the size of the casserole, scrunch it up and wet it under the tap. Squeeze off the residual moisture and lay it over the ingredients tucking it in around the sides of the pork; this will keep moisture locked in as the pork cooks resulting in tender, juicy meat. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 30 mins.
Remove the pork from the oven, lift off the lid and paper then turn the meat and baste with the juices. Add the remaining sherry, cover again and cook for a further 40 - 50 mins until fork tender and cooked through. Remove the meat from the casserole and leave to rest for 15 minutes whilst making the sauce.
Put the casserole over a low heat on the hob and pour in the chicken stock. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened then season to taste adding a squeeze of lemon juice if necessary. Serve sliced on a platter alongside braised greens and couscous.