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Slow-cooked pork shoulder  with peas & mint

Slow-cooked pork shoulder with peas & mint

This lovely Diana Henry dish with peas and mint makes a wonderful roast centrepiece.

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  • Serves8
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook4 hrs
  • Total time4 hrs 20 mins
  • Plusmarinating

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  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • tsp black peppercorns
  • tbsp rapeseed oil, plus 1 tbsp
  • 2.2kg boneless pork shoulder joint, from the counter
  • 2 large onions, cut into wedges about 1.5 cm thick
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 600ml cider
  • A few ice cubes
  • 20g butter
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • ½ tbsp mint jelly, or to taste
  • Dash of cider vinegar
  • 250g peas, fresh if possible (shelled weight)
  • 8 sprigs mint, leaves only


  1. Put the fennel seeds, caraway, peppercorns and a large pinch of sea salt flakes into a mortar and pestle and crush, as finely as you can. Add 3½ tbsp of the oil to make a paste.

  2. Make small slits all over the pork with a sharp knife. Rub the paste over the pork, pushing some of it into the slits. Cover and marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours (you can leave it overnight if you like). When you want to cook it, take it out of the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  3. Preheat the oven to 240ºC, gas mark 9. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole (one that can go on the hob and in the oven). Brown the joint all over – it needs to be a good colour. Put it into the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  4. In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté 1 onion and the celery until soft and pale gold, for about 4-5 minutes. Add 1/2 the cider and bring to the boil. Take the pork out of the oven and turn the heat down to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Add the contents of the frying pan to the pork. Cover with a lid, put back in the oven and cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and practically falling apart. You might have to cook it a little longer. Check on it every so often and baste with the juices.

  5. Remove the pork to a warm plate, then cover with foil and clean tea towels. Strain the cooking juices – discard the vegetables – and pour into a glass jug. Add the ice cubes – this will drive the fat to the surface – and skim the fat off the top.

  6. Wash the casserole and put it back on the hob. Add the butter and 1 tsp oil and sauté the other onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft and lightly coloured. Add the rest of the cider, then boil to reduce by 1/2. Add the chicken stock and pork juices and boil to reduce the juices by 1/2, for 10-15 minutes. If you want to add a bit of mint jelly for sweetness, do it now and allow it to melt. Add a dash of cider vinegar to balance things out. Bring the juices to the boil again and reduce until you have the flavour you want. It’s flavour you should go by, not the thickness of the juices (it’s really important you don’t end up with juices that are too salty).

  7. Add the peas and let them cook in the juices, until just tender. Put the pork back into the casserole. Roughly tear the mint into the juices and serve the pork from the dish, with boiled new potatoes on the side.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,628kJ/ 645kcals



Saturated Fat












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