Pork roasted with black pepper and cinnamon

Pork roasted with black pepper and cinnamon

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

Roast pork is undoubtedly a firm family favourite, especially when it comes with its golden armour of tasty crackling. If you can buy a free-range or organically reared product you will get a better result. The rather sweet flavour of the lean pork is really zipped up by a mouth-tingling hit of aromatic pepper and comfortingly sweet cinnamon. For this dish we use a cut of pork called scotch fillet, which is the extension of the loin, and often comes oven-ready: trimmed, rolled and tied neatly with string. But do look for a piece that still has a thin layer of white fat — you don’t want it stripped completely of its fatty layer as this creates important lubrication during the cooking process.

Slow-cooking allows the flavours of the marinade to meld into the meat. The moisture from the olive oil and water helps create some steam in the oven, which prevents it from becoming stringy and dry.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons sea salt
50ml olive oil
1.2kg loin of pork
400ml water
mashed potato, creamed spinach, to serve
or Green beans with hazelnuts, to serve


  1. Roughly crush the pepper corns using a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Put the cinnamon into the mortar with the garlic and 1 teaspoon sea salt and pound to a smooth paste, then mix in the pepper and half the olive oil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  3. Rub the paste all over the pork and allow it to sit while preheating the oven. Then sprinkle with the remaining sea salt, which adds a lovely salty crunchiness to the crust.
  4. Put the remaining olive oil and the water into a roasting pan with 200 ml of the water. Put a roasting rack in the pan and sit the pork on top. Cook for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160°C. Add another 200 ml water to the pan and cook slowly for a further hour.
  5. When ready, remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave in a warm place to rest for 8 minutes. Reduce the pan juices with a few knobs of butter and drizzle over the meat. Serve with vegetable accompaniments.
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