Diana Henry’s pork with brandy, prune and pecan stuffing
- A challenge
- October 2014
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 1 hour 50 min
Diana Henry’s show-stopping recipe pairs succulent roast pork with fruity, boozy stuffing and the ultimate crackling – it’s perfect for impressing dinner party guests.
- 14.3g fat (3.6g saturated)
- 42.8g protein
- 53.7g carbs (6.3g sugars)
- 6.1g fibre
- 0.8g salt
- 1.2-1.5kg boneless free-range pork leg, skin scored in 1cm intervals (see tips)
- 8-10 medium (about 1.5kg) king edward or maris piper potatoes, chopped into large chunks
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 6-8 banana shallots, peeled and sliced in half vertically
For the stuffing
- Knob of unsalted butter
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 50g pecans, finely chopped
- 8 plump, pitted prunes, finely chopped
- 250g ciabatta bread, whizzed into crumbs
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. For the stuffing, melt the butter in a large frying pan, then add the garlic, celery and rosemary. Fry over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the brandy and bubble for 3-4 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir through the chopped pecans, prunes and breadcrumbs. Season well. Add the beaten egg and combine until the mixture comes together.
- Open out the pork leg. Spread half the stuffing over it and roll the rest into balls. Roll up the pork and tie with string (see tips). Dry the skin with kitchen paper, then sprinkle with plenty of salt. Put in a large roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. After a further 20 minutes, add the potatoes, thyme and shallots to the roasting tin. Baste the veg in any pan juices, then roast for another 20 minutes. Check the pork: a digital thermometer pushed into the centre should read around 65°C (or a metal skewer pushed in should feel hot rather than warm when pressed on the back of your wrist). If it’s not ready, roast for 10-15 minutes more. When the pork reaches 65°C, turn the oven back up to 220°C.
- Add the stuffing balls to the tin and roast for a further 20 minutes or until the pork crackles. Once this happens, remove the pork from the oven, turn the oven down to 180°C and continue to cook the veg for 10-15 minutes while the pork rests. Carve the joint and serve with the roasted veg and the stuffing balls.
Make the stuffing up to 3 days in advance and keep in the fridge, covered.
You can freeze the stuffing for up to 3 months; defrost thoroughly before stuffing the pork.
This recipe makes more stuffing than you’ll need for the dish, so either make the stuffing balls as in step 4 or freeze what you don’t use, in small portions, to serve with other recipes.
When scoring the skin for perfect crackiling, cut right through the fat too, stopping just before you hit the flesh. Use a really sharp knife or a Stanley knife (just make sure you clean it well before and after scoring). If you prefer, ask your butcher to score it for you.
If the fat of your pork has been well dried and turns to crackling before the last 20 minutes of cooking, there’s no need to turn the oven back up at step 3. For our step-by-step guide to tying a stuffed pork joint, visit .
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