With the beginning of Autumn upon us, I find myself turning to heartier dinner dishes. Comfort food, full of flavour, deep and rich. This dish is a great transitional piece. It bridges the end of summer with its fruity flavours & colourful pieces of pistachio but combined with slow cooked spicy pork, perfect for those dark & cold Autumn nights.
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
800g diced pork shoulder, organic if possible
3 tbsp oil of choice
2 large onions, in wedges
3 celery sticks, in chunks
2 tbsp tomato purée
400ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp clear honey
zest and juice of 1 lemon
500g Chantenay carrots, trimmed
100g prunes or dates, halved
75g dried cherries
Zest of 1 lemon, plus juice, to taste
½ x 28g pack mint, leaves roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
25g pistachio kernels, finely chopped
½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C. Combine the spices and some seasoning in a large bowl, add the pork and toss to coat. Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan and brown half the pork over a high heat, then remove to a casserole dish. Brown the rest of the pork in another dash of oil (keep any spice mix left in the bowl).
Meanwhile, fry the onions and celery in the rest of the oil until starting to soften and caramelise. Tip the leftover spiced flour into the pan, stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Add mixture to the pork and mix well. Add the stock, honey and lemon zest and juice; season. Cook in the oven for 1 hour.
Stir in the carrots (halve any large ones) and the dried fruit, and return to the oven to cook for a further 1 hour or until the meat is tender. The carrots should still have some bite and the liquid should have thickened up. If not reduce on the hob until desired consistency has been reached.
Combine the lemon zest, mint, garlic, pistachios and chilli. Sprinkle over the pork, and serve with cauliflower rice.