Portugal is one of my favourite countries and I have been fortunate to travel there quite extensively tasting their great wines and one of the constant memories is the black-footed pig
I have used both Port and Pinotage in the recipe as the link between two great wine countries.
What you’ll need…
1.5kg pork neck filleted and tied
rub of Bo Kaap spices
2 tsp coarse Oryx Desert Salt
1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, fennel, cumin & cinnamon
good splash of Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of mainly Frantoio and Mission cultivars and has a medium fruity character.
80 ml Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 onions – coarsely chopped
125 ml Port
250 ml hearty red wine like Pinotage
500ml stock – I used one chicken & one beef liquid stock sachets
16 soft dried Malatya Apricots
2 bay leaves
freshly milled Oryx black pepper
Kneaded butter [an equal mixture in weight of soft butter and flour, well mixed]
What you’ll do…
Have ready a large oval Le Creuset enamelled casserole. Preset the oven on 180C with the shelf in the middle.
Be sure that the meat is not too cold.
Using a pestle and mortar, pound the salt to break it up a bit. Mix in the spices and pound again to mix well. Add the olive oil to create a thick paste. Rub it generously all over the meat and set aside for about 30 minutes.
In the casserole heat the oil over medium to gently heat and carefully brown the meat on all sides. Hold it vertical and sear off the ends as well. Do not be tempted to use too high a temperature, as the spices will burn. Remove the meat and set aside. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and golden brown. Add the port and over high heat allow the port to boil away almost completely. Add the wine and allow it to come to the boil and simmer for a short while to evaporate the alcohol off.
Return the meat, and any juices that may have collected. Add the apricots and bay leaves. Put on the lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160C and braise for a further. Remove the meat, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes. Place the casserole on a medium flame and reduce the sauce until well flavoured. Adjust the seasoning and stir in knobs of the kneaded butter to thicken the sauce to taste. Remove the ties from the meat and slice thinly and place in the sauce. Cover and allow to heat through for about 10 minutes.
Serve with steamed Basmati rice, mashed potatoes and a green vegetable like steamed Savoy cabbage, gently flavoured with freshly grated nutmeg.
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