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Pork with Stout, Pepper and Brown Sugar


  • ½ pork shoulder joint, boneless, about 1kg/2lb 4oz

  • 3 anchovies, from a can, cut in half lengthways

  • 3 pitted prunes, halved

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 85g/3oz unsalted butter

  • 3 onions, finely sliced

  • ½ tbsp chopped sage

  • 3 tbsp plain flour

  • 500ml/18fl oz a dark Irish stout

  • 450ml/16fl oz chicken stock

  • For the Marinade

  • 1 tbsp ground black peppercorns, crushed

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar


  • 1.

    For the marinade, combine the peppercorns, salt, herbs, garlic and sugar in a food processor, then gradually add the oil and vinegar.

  • 2.

    Make six incisions in the piece of pork and carefully press half a prune and half an anchovy fillet into each slit. Rub the meat with the marinade and leave to marinate in a cool place for at least three hours or ideally overnight.

  • 3.

    Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Wipe off the marinade and brown the pork off in half the oil and half the butter, until brown on all sides.

  • 4.

    Remove the pork and set aside. Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and heat gently. Once foaming, add the onions and chopped sage.

  • 5.

    Allow to cook over a gentle heat until the onion is soft and golden-brown. This will take about 20 minutes.

  • 6.

    Add the flour and continue to cook for five minutes, stirring regularly.

  • 7.

    Place the pork back on top of the onion slices in the casserole.

  • 8.

    Add the marinade, stout and chicken stock to the pan, bring to the boil and cover the casserole.

  • 9.

    Cook in the oven for about four and a half hours until the meat is very tender.

  • 10.

    Slice the meat into large chunks. Keep warm.

  • 11.

    Pour all the pan juices into a food processor and blend until smooth. If the liquid is too thin, boil vigorously to reduce. Pour over the meat.

  • 12.

    Serve with roast carrots, roast parsnips and mashed potatoes.

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