Moorish pork collar with crackling crumb and fresh apple

This sumptuous pork dish formed the main course of the beer and food pairing night I co-hosted with Phil Garvey of the Cap and Collar this November.

Inspired by the traditional flavours of southern Spanish tapas skewers ‘pinchitos morunos’, the pork here is cooked slowly as a stew but still retaining a fusion of Andalusian pork and north African spices.

The crackling crumb and fresh apple are an embellishment I put together for the #SaltaireSupper and you could make this stew without them. However, the feedback we received for this dish would suggest to me they are worth the extra effort.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1.6kg good quality pork collar, diced into 3cm cubes
  • 1 brown onion, finely sliced
  • 1 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 250ml medium dry sherry
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground caraway
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 800ml good quality chicken stock

for the crackling crumb

  • 750g pork rind, well scored
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup flaked and toasted almonds
  • 1 cup fresh picked oregano
  • 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
  • zest of three lemons
  • 2 sharp green apples


  1. Preheat your oven to 150°c. Heat olive oil in both a large stew pot and a large frying pan. Add the root vegetables, save for the garlic, to the stew pot with a pinch of salt.
  2. Sweat them down until soft and translucent without colouring, stirring often.
  3. Meanwhile, dry off the pork with kitchen paper, season well with salt and pepper before browning well in the frying pan. Do this in batches and add to the cooking veg as you go.
  4. Once all the pork is in the stew pot with the veg, add the bay leaves and crushed garlic to the stew pot and stir well until the garlic has lost its raw scent, 1-2 minutes is fine.
  5. Add the chilli flakes, ground spices and oregano and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the sherry and reduce until the raw alcohol smell as disappeared.
  7. Add the vinegar, stir, then add the stock until the meat is just covered. Bring to a simmer then braise in the oven to braise.
  8. After 2 hours, check the pork, it should be very tender to the fork. If not, return to the oven for 30 minutes and check again. Once you’re happy, remove from the oven and reduce the sauce steadily until you’re happy with the consistency. Taste and season. Keep warm.
  9. Crank the oven up to 250°c. Lightly brush the pork rind with olive oil and rub well with sea salt. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until your crackling is well puffed and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper to cool slightly.
  10. Remove from the oven and blitz in a blender to a rough crumb with pieces the size of chickpeas. Remove from the blender and mix well in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, oregano, lemon zest and almonds.
  11. When ready to serve, finely dice the apple into batons or cubes. Divide the stew between bowls, top with crumb and fresh apple. Serve with crusty bread.

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