Braised pork shoulder with quinces

Braised pork shoulder with quinces

A la Grecque
Mark Roper

Pork and quinces are a magical combination. When making this dish I cook the quinces first, usually the day before, using Stephanie Alexander’s recipe for baked quinces with honey from her book Feasts and Stories. Even though that is a dessert recipe, I find that the quinces are not too sweet when combined with the pork. I usually cook a large quantity and use a few of them for the pork casserole. I keep the rest of the quinces in the fridge to eat with cream or vanilla ice cream or I’ll use them in a tart, a pudding or a cake. They go with everything.


Quantity Ingredient
3 quinces
120g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
125ml water
1kg pork shoulder
freshly ground black pepper
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
125ml white wine or verjuice
1 small sprig rosemary


  1. Heat the oven to 160ºC.
  2. Wash the quinces well to remove any down from the skins. Cut them in half lengthwise and top and tail them. Remove the core to create a neat hollow – I find it easiest to use a melon baller – then arrange the quince halves in a baking dish, cut sides up. Place a small knob of butter and ½ tablespoon of honey in each cavity. Pour in the water and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 3 hours until the quinces are a deep pinky-red and very tender.
  3. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a cast-iron pot or a heavy-based saucepan and brown the pork well, a few pieces at a time. As each batch is browned, transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add the sliced onion and garlic to the pot and stir in the oil for a few minutes to colour. Add the wine and allow to bubble over a high heat for a few minutes, stirring well. Return the browned pork to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place in the oven and cook for 60 minutes.
  5. Add the quinces and rosemary to the pot and cook for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving in shallow bowls.
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