Pork Tagine with Cherries & Fennel

Serves 4-6


450g tenderloin pork, cut into chunky pieces

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

Few saffron threads

2 star anise

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic, finely sliced

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced

100g dates, chopped stoned

2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

750ml hot vegetable stock

2 preserved lemon, skin only, flesh chopped

Handful of fresh mint, chopped (reserve some for top plus a few whole leaves)

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped (reserve some for top)

300g British cherries, pitted and halved

Bulgur wheat for serving


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven/ Gas 4. In a bowl, toss the meat with the spices and season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to marinate for couple of hours if time or cook straight away. Heat half the oil in a large oven proof, lidded pot. Add the meat in batches and fry for few minutes each side until golden, remove and put to one side, when all done, add the remaining oil and add the onion and cook for 2-3 mins until soft then stir in the garlic and fennel, season with a little sea salt and freshly grated black pepper and cook for a further 5 mins until soften.

Return the pork along with the star anise to the pan and stir to combine. Stir in the dates, add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the bubble. The put a lid on pot and put in oven for 2 hours.

Remove pot from oven, using a slotted spoon remove the meat and put it to one side, stir in the preserved lemons, put the pot on the hob and simmer until sauce thickens then return meat, stir in herbs and cherries. Taste and season some more if needed. Transfer to shallow bowls and serve with bulgur wheat, top with remaining fresh herbs to serve.