Braised Pork with Prunes

This is my version of a famous French classic with the addition of crisp potatoes on top, rather like a hotpot.

Serves 4

This recipe is from the Delia Collection: Pork

Braised Pork with Prunes
 1 lb 12 oz (800 g) belly pork, trimmed (trimmed weight 1 lb 8 oz/700 g), and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
 4 oz (110 g) pitted Agen prunes, halved
 1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavourless oil
 6 juniper berries, crushed with the back of a spoon
 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
 8 oz (225 g) onions, sliced
 1 clove garlic, crushed
 1 large Bramley cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
 a little caster sugar
 1 lb 8 oz (700 g) Desirée or King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch (2 cm) slices
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 5 fl oz (150 ml) dry cider
 Salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).

You will also need a large frying pan, a 7 x 12 x 2½ inch (18 x 30 x 6 cm), shallow, oval, ovenproof dish, and some foil.


First of all, fry the pieces of pork in the oil in the frying pan so they brown nicely (you may need to do this in 2 batches) then arrange the pieces in the bottom of the ovenproof dish.

Season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and sprinkle over the crushed juniper berries and chopped thyme.

Now fry the onions and garlic a little bit (3-4 minutes) in the same pan, and scatter them round the pork with the pieces of prune tucked here and there.

Next, arrange the apple slices all over and give them a very slight dusting of caster sugar. Finally, arrange the potato slices on top, making them overlap one another.

Season with some more pepper and salt, dot with a few flecks of butter and pour in the cider.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1½ hours. When the cooking time's up, remove the foil and cook for a further 50 minutes or so - or until the potatoes have turned a lovely golden brown.

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