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Barbecued leg of pork with grilled summer vegetables


handful bay leaves
handful rosemary
handful thyme sprigs
4 garlic clove
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp cider vinegar
2-3kg boneless, skinless pork
leg, butterflied into 1 piece
handful parsley
leaves, chopped

For the vegetables
2 fennel bulb, cut into wedges, fronds picked and kept separate
bunch spring onions, green parts finely sliced and kept separate, whites trimmed but left whole
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
3 courgette, cut on an angle into long slices
2 tbsp olive oil
juice ½ lemon


Using a pestle and mortar, bash and bruise the bay, rosemary and thyme with the garlic, olive oil and 1 tbsp of the vinegar, plus some seasoning. Smear the mixture all over the meat to marinate. Can be done up to 24 hrs ahead.

Set aside the fennel fronds and sliced spring onions, and toss the rest of the vegetables in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and some seasoning. Build your barbecue so that there is a higher pile of coals on one side and a lower pile on the other. Light the barbecue and, when the coals are ashen, grill the vegetables (be careful that the asparagus and spring onions do not fall through the bars) until lightly charred and wilted. Scoop them into a dish and dress with the rest of the olive oil and the lemon juice, then scatter with the fennel fronds and sliced spring onions, and set aside.

Now cook the pork. It needs to sizzle for 1 hr over a fairly low heat – the coals should be grey but, to ensure they don’t go out halfway through cooking, you may need to keep adding occasional coals. Lay the pork on the coolest side of the barbecue, fat-side down, and brown for about 20 mins until well charred (if you have a kettle barbecue, cover with the lid).

Use tongs to flip the meat and continue to cook slowly for about 1 hr more, turning and moving the meat occasionally, until the thickest part is very firm when prodded, or when the juices show no sign of pink when pierced with a skewer. If you have a digital cooking thermometer, it should read 65C or more when inserted in the thickest part. (If the pork is organic, it’s fine if it’s a tiny bit pink, but you certainly don’t want it raw.)

When the pork is cooked, place on a dish, scatter with parsley, drizzle over the rest of the vinegar and leave to rest somewhere warm for 15 mins. Carve the pork into thin slices on a board and serve with the just warm vegetables and vinegary resting juices.

Lamb, apricot & shallot tagine


1 large leg of lamb, bone in (about 2kg)
600g shallot, halved if particularly large
400g small apricot, halved and stoned
85g whole skinless almond
2 preserved lemon, flesh discarded, peel and pith finely chopped
1 tbsp ras el hanout
1 tbsp clear honey
150ml hot chicken stock
small pack coriander, leaves picked
couscous and natural yogurt, to serve

For the marinade
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp clear honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp coriander seed
pinch of saffron


Slash the lamb leg all over and put in a big food bag, or in a large casserole dish. Smash the marinade ingredients together using a pestle and mortar. Add some black pepper and rub all over the lamb. Marinate overnight, or up to 24 hrs.

Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Sit the lamb in a big roasting tin, scraping off any leftover marinade on the top. Cover the tin with foil, pinching the edges to seal. Cook for 6-7 hrs, basting every hour or so, until the meat is incredibly tender.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Pour the juices from the lamb into a measuring jug, cool slightly and skim off the fat. Put the shallots in the tin with the lamb and toss to coat in some of the juices. Roast for 15 mins, then add the apricots and almonds. Whisk the cooking juices with the lemon, ras el hanout, honey and stock, then pour over the lamb and roast for another 20 mins.

Rest for 10 mins, then scatter over the herbs and serve with couscous and yogurt.


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