Thursday, 20 October 2016

Middle Eastern Roast Pork with Roasted Roots and Yoghurt Dip

At the weekend, following a few weekends of eating a traditional Sunday roast dinner I fancied cooking something different - a twist on the classic and came up with this Middle Eastern-inspired pork shoulder joint that I marinated for five hours and it went down a treat, we'll definitely be having it again.

I served with some roasted 'roots' or carrots and parsnips drizzled with olive oil and scattered with cumin seeds and some garlic-roasted sweet potato plus a little wilted spinach and a quick yoghurt dip - delicious.

The below was enough for Glen, Bridget (age 2) and myself with a little sliced meat leftover for sandwiches the next day.

Middle Eastern Roast Pork and Roasted Roots

Here's how:

  • 1 small pork shoulder (approx 1.5kg)
  • The pork marinade:
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt

The roots:
  • 1 pack baby parsnips
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Everything else:
  • Half pack spinach
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • Handful parsley
  • Handful coriander

Firstly combine the cumin, ginger, ras el hanout, pepper, salt, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon and paprika in a small bowl and mix to combine the spice mix. Get your pork joint into a large bowl and rub all over with the spice mix, into the creases of the meat to ensure it is fully coated.

Now wash your hands, and then cover the pork with either cling film or tin foil and place into the fridge to marinade for several hours. If you haven't got five hours, a couple will do.

Once the pork is sufficiently marinated, remove from the fridge for twenty minutes and pre-heat the oven to 180. Then place the pork into a roasting tin, fat side up, drizzle with a little olive oil and place onto the middle shelf. This will need 30 minutes per 500g plus an additional 20 minutes - or cook according to the packaging.

Whilst the pork is cooking, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into flat rounds and place into a small oven proof dish that you can mash into after roasting, place in four unpeeled garlic cloves and set aside.

If using the baby parsnips you can just cut the ends off but I like to peel too as Bridget won't eat them with the peel on. Place them into another roasting dish. Peel the carrots and cut into long wedges, similarly sized to the baby parsnips and add to the roasting tin. Drizzle with a generous glug of olive oil (1.5 tbsp) and then scatter over the cumin seeds and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper then toss to coat fully. Cover and set aside.

Cumin Roots

When you have about half an hour of pork cooking time left, place all of the roots into the oven to begin cooking - they will take about 45 minutes, which allows the meat some resting time.

For the yoghurt dip simply chop the parsley and coriander and add to a bowl with the yoghurt. Then once the sweet potato is out of the oven, take out one of the roasted garlic cloves and add to the dip and stir well. Leave in the fridge until serving.

When the meat is out of the oven, leave to stand and rest for 15-20 minutes before carving into thick slices.

Middle Eastern Pork

Place a drizzle of olive oil into a pan and wilt the spinach with a little salt for 1 minute whilst getting everything else out of the oven.

The sweet potatoes need to be gently crushed or mashed in their cooking vessel, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of cinnamon and stir through.

Roasted garlic sweet potatoes, pre mashing
Cumin roasted roots

Now use a platter or a wooden board and dish everything up accordingly, so the family can dig in and get as much or as little of what they want. Once the meat is on, drizzle over some of the yoghurt dip which complements the flavours really well. Enjoy!

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