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    Pork with Apricots and Lentils

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    Pork with Apricots and Lentils

    This is a wonderful autumn dish full of tastes and not too heavy. Use a cut with some integral fat to give extra richness and flavour, shoulder or spare rib is ideal.


    • 900gm 2lb. Pork cut into 1½" cubes
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
    • 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
    • 2 sticks celery chopped
    • 85gm 3oz. ready to eat dried apricots, diced
    • 1 star anise crushed or ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
    • ¾ pint chicken stock
    • ½ green cabbage finely shredded
    • 110gm 4oz green lentils soaked for about 6 hours
    • 4 tablespoons crème fraiche
    • Sea Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Trim any excess fat from the meat.
    2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish and when it is hot add about half the cubes and cook over a high heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan while you brown the remaining meat.
    3. Now remove that too from the pan and put in the vegetables, garlic and ginger. Stir these about, scraping the bottom of the pan and cooking over a medium heat until they begin to colour. Add the crushed star anise or five spice and fry for a minute or two longer.
    4. Add the meat, stir well then add the stock, seasoning with some pepper and salt. Bring to a simmer cover with a close fitting lid and cook for 1 hour in a heated oven 190C 380F gas mk 4.
    5. Meanwhile, cook the lentils in a separate saucepan by covering with fresh water and simmering for 20 minutes, the lentils should still have a slight bite. Drain and reserve.
    6. Cook the cabbage in boiling salted water until tender, drain and refresh.
    7. Take the casserole from the oven and add the lentils and cabbage, taste and add a little more seasoning.
    8. At this stage it may be necessary to add more liquid, this can be either water or extra stock. Add just sufficient to moisten the dish.
    9. Place over the heat and bring to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes then stir in the crème fraiche. Taste and re-season as necessary. Serve at once.
    10. This dish can be made ahead up to the addition of the crème fraiche.

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