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On Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. Extremely good friends. Which was a Good Thing, because I had far too much white wine and ended up dancing around the kitchen. I also switched to default London Pinot Mode and became terribly LOUD.

Oh dear. They’re still speaking to me, but I bet they laughed all the way home. I blame the scars of Sports Direct, personally.

Still, at least I fed them well before I bored them half to death by repeating the same old stories and talking over The Other Half. The funny thing is that inside I’m going shut up, shut up, but my mouth still keeps moving and talking and moving and talking with just drivel coming out.

pork stew

Eat me. I’m gorgeous.

Meh. Everyone had seconds and then we had a gorgeous fruit salad to follow, and a debate about Sooty, Sweep and Sue.

As you do. More wine, anyone?

Ingredients

Serves 8-10, freezes well

  • 4lb cubed leg of pork, trimmed
  • 2 leeks, washed, trimmed and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 carrots washed, peeled if you can be bothered, and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 peppers, either red or yellow, chopped into strips
  • 350g dried prunes or apricots, or mixture of both (buy the prunes ready stoned. Trust me, it’s worth the extra money), roughly chopped with scissors as this is much easier than with a knife
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 275ml red wine
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or a good spoonful of fresh, chopped
  • Seasoning
  • Olive oil

Method

Preheat your oven to 160° and locate a large ovenproof dish – larger than you think you will need.

Brown off the pork in a little of the olive oil over a medium to high heat. Do this in batches if needs be as you need space for the meat to be turned and not to turn watery, so don’t overcrowd the pan. Then place it in the ovenproof dish, off the heat. Season it well but go lightly with the salt.

pan fried pork

In the same pan, adding a little more oil if you need it, soften the peppers, leeks and carrots.

Add the oregano and saute for 7-8 minutes over a medium heat until the vegetables are starting to colour. Add to the meat.

In the same pan, pour in the wine and vinegar. Simmer until reduced by half, then add the tomato puree. Stir until dissolved, then add to the meat.

Top up your casserole dish with water until the ingredients are covered – this is why you need a large dish. Then pop in the oven, with either the lid on or tightly covered in foil, for an hour and a half.

After an hour, take out and stir in the dried fruit, cover and return to the oven for another hour. Check, and stir. Then leave the cover off and give it another 30 minutes whilst you drink a glass of wine, lay tables, drink some more wine and prepare your rice.

Before serving, add in the lemon juice and parsley before drizzling over a dash of olive oil, and giving it a light stir. Serve with wine, good friends, and bad dancing.

pork stew

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