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 the goods

5-6 pound / 2 1/2-3 kilo shoulder roast of pork (on bone, with some skin and fat)

12 figs

4 red / Spanish onions



1 large glass of good (dry) red wine

6 cardamom pods

1 tspn fennel seeds

1/2 tspn ground cinnamon

olive oil

active time: 15 minutes

total time: 5 hrs

you will need:

  • large baking dish




figgy roast piggy

Slow and easy...

That's the secret with this gorgeous, succulent roast pork.

Have your meat at room temperature. Try and buy a nice piece of pork shoulder with some skin and fat still on it. Run a knife in a criss-cross over the skin. You want to pierce just deep enough to score the skin. Don't cut through the fat to the flesh.

Rub about 1 tablespoon of sea salt over the whole roast.

Pre-heat your oven to 450f / 240c

Find a baking pan large enough to hold the meat with room to place the figs and onions around it. Place it over a low heat on your stove top and put the fennel seeds and cardamom pods into the pan. Let them warm up and become fragrant.

Place the warm spices into a mortar and pestle or a grinder and grind to a coarse powder. Add a good pinch of ground cinnamon and about 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Place the pork in the centre of the baking pan, slice the figs in half lengthways and arrange them around the pork. Peel the onions, slice them in half lengthways them quarter each half into wedges. place these wedges into the pan with the figs.

Rub the spice mix into the pork.

Pour the red wine and a splash of olive oil over the meat.

Put the roast into the oven and, after 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 300f / 150c.

Roast for around 5 hrs, basting 3 times throughout the cooking time.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil for 10 minutes.

You can serve the onions and figs as a side dish with the roast pork, or you can add them to a salad...some arugula, sliced apple, walnuts or pistachios...

And the leftovers make a sensational sandwich the next day. Mush the figs and onions and juices together to make a relish, spead it over a baguette. Some peppery water cress. Fat slices of spiced pork...