Middle Eastern spiced pork with dates

This hearty, spiced pork casserole is brilliant simmered with naturally sweet dates and hearty cauliflower for a filling, nutritious meal. Serve over couscous for an authentic Middle Eastern recipe.

  • 10 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Middle Eastern spiced pork with dates
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 750 gram pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 eggplant, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted dried dates
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • couscous, to serve
  • yoghurt, to serve
  • coriander sprigs, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve


Middle Eastern spiced pork with dates
  • 1
    In a large saucepan heat half oil on high. Cook pork, in 2 batches, 3-4 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  • 2
    In same pan, heat remaining oil on high. Saute onion 2-3 minutes until tender. Stir in ras el hanout and garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • 3
    Return pork to pan with stock and nectar. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender.
  • 4
    Add cauliflower, eggplant and dates. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid, stir peas through and simmer, uncovered 15-20 minutes until pork and vegetables are tender.
  • 5
    Serve pork on a bed of couscous, topped with yoghurt and coriander. Accompany with lemon wedges.


If preferred, transfer mixture to a casserole dish and bake in a moderate oven, 180°C. This would also be delicious made with chicken pieces.

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