Spiced pork with sweet potatoes

    1 hour

    This thoroughly modern casserole is a delicious example of fusion cooking, marrying ingredients and flavours from diverse cuisines. Oriental spices, sweet potatoes and fruit flavours go very well with the lean pork. Add bean sprouts and spring onions to a simple green salad to make a crisp, refreshing accompaniment.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 4 pork loin steaks or boneless pork chops, about 140 g (5 oz) each, trimmed of fat
    • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • 1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato, about 400 g (14 oz), peeled and cut into sticks
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) sweetened cranberry juice
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock, preferably home-made
    • 1 piece of preserved stem ginger, drained and cut into fine sticks
    • 1 tbsp thick-cut orange marmalade
    • 1 tbsp dry sherry
    • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
    • 2 star anise
    • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthways
    • salt and pepper
    • 3 spring onions, shredded, to garnish

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or deep sauté pan. Add the pork steaks and brown them for 3–4 minutes on each side. Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside.
    2. Add the onion and celery to the oil remaining in the casserole and cook, stirring, over a moderate heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the sweet potato, cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 3–4 minutes or until softened.
    3. Stir in the cranberry juice drink, stock, ginger, marmalade, sherry, five-spice powder, star anise and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and return the pork to the casserole. Cover and cook gently for 15 minutes.
    4. Add the tomatoes to the casserole, cover and cook gently for a further 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are lightly cooked, but still hold their shape. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve, garnished with spring onions.

    Some more ideas

    Add 400 g (14 oz) cubed pumpkin or butternut squash instead of the sweet potato, and 1 small bulb of fennel, chopped, instead of the celery sticks. * Tomato rice goes well with this casserole. Bring 200 ml (7 fl oz) water to the boil and add 225 g (8 oz) rinsed basmati rice, 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g, with the juice and 4 chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the water. * For a rich fruit casserole, add 200 g (7 oz) pitted, ready-to-eat prunes and 2 cored and thickly sliced dessert apples instead of the tomatoes. Omit the sherry.

    Plus points

    Sweet potatoes have a delicious natural sweetness that intensifies during storage and cooking. Although they contain slightly more calories than ordinary white potatoes – sweet potatoes have 87 kcal per 100 g (3½ oz), white potatoes 75 kcal – they are low in fat. * Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of beta-carotene and they provide good amounts of vitamins C and E. * Lean pork has a lower fat content than beef or lamb. It is a good source of zinc and it provides useful amounts of iron.

    Each serving provides

    B1, C * A, B6, B12, E, iron, phosphorus, zinc * B2, folate, niacin, selenium

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