This dish is a marriage made in heaven – the rich flavour of the pork in perfect harmony with the cutting sweetness of the prunes. Thank God there are classics; life is richer for it. The spices also have a wonderful affinity with the pork and the fruit.



1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) pork shoulder 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra
80 ml (2 fl oz/1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) dice
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) port
250 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) red wine
8 pitted prunes
8 dried apricots
grated zest of 1 orange
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) veal stock freshly ground pepper


About 1 hour before cooking, cut the pork into 2 cm (3/4 inch) dice. Mix the spices and sea salt together. Rub them over the pork pieces, cover and leave to marinate. In a large heavy- based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the extra virgin olive oil. When hot, add half the pork, fry until evenly browned, taking care not to burn the spices, then remove and repeat with the next batch. Set aside. Add the onion to the pan and a little more sea salt and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until softened. Add the port and reduce by half. Add the red wine and boil for 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Return the pork to the pan, add the prunes, apricots, orange zest, bay leaves and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 11⁄2 hours. Remove the lid and cook for a further 20-30 minutes, or until the pork is tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the bay leaves. Divide among four bowls, add a good grind of pepper and serve.