This ripper meal is perfect for colder weather. The rich mixture of tangy pork and charred veggies are comforting and filling, but the cabbage, sour cream and guacamole help to keep things fresh—and not food coma heavy (unless you’re like me and just fill your plate too full!). The pork does take a slow cook, and although I prefer to use an oven, you could also probably use a slow cooker if this is a meal you 9-5ers want to take on!
Pork Shoulder or Loin (I find the shoulder falls apart better after a slow cook, but the loin tends to be juicier. Think chicken breast vs thigh. Regardless, after 6+ hours it all falls apart anyway!)
6 Garlic Cloves
6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (Garlic infused provides extra tang!)
1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp Salt Flakes
250ml Red Wine
750ml White Wine
1L Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
I Tbsp Brown Sugar
Preheat your oven to 220°C fan forced. Chop the onion into 4 – 6 large chunks. Place on the bottom of a large roasting pan with the whole garlic cloves, thyme and oil, then place the pork skin side up on top.
Grind the fennel seeds, cumin seeds and salt with a mortar and pestle, then rub into the pork (making sure plenty gets on the skin).
Pour around the pork (not on top) and into the tray the red wine, and 500ml of the white wine. Also pour in 500ml of chicken stock.
Place the pork in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until your crackle starts to pop!
After this time, have a peek to make sure there’s still plenty of liquid in the bottom, then pop back in the oven at 160°C (no fan) for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, top up with 400ml of chicken stock and 150ml white wine to make sure there’s plenty of liquid still in the pan. Peel off the crackling and set aside. Cover the pork loosely with foil, and cook at 160°C (no fan) for another 2.5 hours. If at any stage the pan is drying out, top up with a little water or extra wine to keep things moist.
Pull the pork out of the oven, and set to with forks. It should pull apart easily. Once it’s all torn up (poor pork) and spread out across the bottom of the pan, pour in the remaining chicken stock, and white wine. Drizzle over the maple syrup and sprinkle evenly the paprika.
Pop back in the oven at 160°C fan forced for 30 minutes.
Here’s when you want to start your veggies! See recipe below.
Pull out the pork and mix around to make sure no bits get particularly dry. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly, then place back in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes. Place the crackling on a small piece of foil above the liquid, in the last five minutes of cooking, then chop up into small bite size pieces at the end!
This pork is deliciously sweet and packs a punch! You can serve it with so many other things, but I particularly like the flavour match with the below combo. Also great for leftover breakfast, with poached eggs, crunchy garlic brioche, fresh apple and hollandaise!
*Hint for crunchy crackling – Leave the pork wrapped in cling film but with the fat exposed in the fridge for a few hours before cooking to dry out the skin.
Charred Vegetable Salad
70g Israeli Cous Cous
1/2 Broccoli Head
1/4 Cauliflower Head
1/4 Red Cabbage
10-12 Brussel Sprouts
2 Cobs of Corn
1/3 Bunch of Fresh Coriander
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tsp White Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1/4 Tsp Paprika
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
Salt to Taste
+ Sour Cream
Place 1/4 cup of water in a large flat bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Place the corn cobs in the shallow water, then cover so that the steam is mostly trapped. Cook until slightly softened, (3-4 minutes). Chop up the broccoli and cauliflower into small portions, approximately 5cm, then add in with the corn (make sure all the water hasn’t evaporated—if so add more.
Return to steamville for a few minutes, then add the halved (lengthwise, so they don’t fall to pieces) brussel sprouts. Also add the butter to the pan, and cover again. Continue to toss veggies around, and make sure the corn doesn’t sit on one side for too long. The aim is for them all to be golden brown, and slightly charred evenly, but no blackening!
Cook the Israeli cous cous as per instructions in a separate saucepan.
Meanwhile, thinly slice your red cabbage and place in a large bowl, with most of the loosely chopped coriander (save a small sprinkle to garnish).
Mix together the dressing ingredients in a cup and set aside. Smash the avocado and mix in the paprika, salt and lime juice. Also set aside.
By now your veggies and cous cous should be ready to take off the heat. Cut the corn off the cob, and place all the veggies together in with the red cabbage and coriander. Drain the cous cous and add this in too. Pour the dressing over and give it all a good mix/shake/toss, whatever floats your boat.
Spread across a big serving platter. Place the pulled pork and crackling pieces on top, spooning over some of the sweet juices from the roasting pan! Then spoon over the guac, then the sour cream, then top with the remaining coriander.
Dig in, and pig out, cos this porky platter is going to disappear pronto!