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Slow braised spicy pork and prunes

The rich chunks of pork shoulder meat in this tagine type recipe are slow cooked until meltingly tender and hold up fantastically to the bold spicy flavours

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  • Serves 6-8

  • Prep time 15 mins

  • Cooking time 3 hrs 35 mins

  • Total time 3 hrs 35 mins

  • Skill level Easy

  • Prepare ahead yes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 kg (3lb 6oz) boneless shoulder, or leg of pork, trimmed of excess fat and cut into large 10cm (4in) chunks
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 4cm (1 1/2in) root ginger, grated
  • large bunch coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp sumac
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • 1 litre (1 3/4pt) free-range chicken chicken stock
  • 50ml (2fl oz) lemon juice
  • 2tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 2tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 250g (9oz) soft dried prunes


Tip

If using a slowcooker, either follow step 1 then add the remaining ingredients, or add everything to the slowcooker in one step. Reducing the liquid by a third, cover with the lid and cook on a low setting for 8-10 hours

Preparation

  1. On a medium heat fry the chunks of pork in the oil in a large casserole until well browned all over then remove and set aside whilst you gently fry the onion, on a low heat, until soft. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, coriander stems and fennel seeds for a further 2 minutes. Then the ground coriander and cumin along with 100ml (3fl oz) of water, to protect the spices from burning and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring.

  2. Pour in the chicken stock and lemon juice and bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and return the browned pork to the casserole. Then on the lowest heat simmer, covered but stirring occasionally, for 3 hours or until the pork is fall apart meltingly tender.

  3. With a slotted spoon remove the pork from the casserole and set aside to rest and cool slightly whilst you add the prunes to the casserole. Skim the fat off the liquid then stir the pomegranate molasses, maple syrup and tamari, into the cooking juices and simmer to reduce by half. 

  4. Shred the meat into bite size chunks, check the seasoning of the liquid then return the meat to the juices to serve as a stew or serve hunks of juicy meat on a serving platter scattered with the remaining coriander. This would be delicious alongside jewelled pomegranate couscous.