Pork and Apricot Tagine

This is a little something of my own, inspired by a particularly tasty chutney based on apricot, ginger and sultanas. It turned into something rather like spicy baked beans, but was delicious nonetheless. I used a tagine in this instance because I happen to have one and I like using it, but any oven-to-table casserole dish would work fine.

½ cup dried apricots, diced.
4 cloves garlic, peeled, diced.
30x30mm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped.
1 tblsp red wine vinegar.
1 ½ cups beef stock.
1 tsp sumac.
1 tsp ground cumin.
½ tsp ground turmeric.
¼ tsp white pepper.
Salt to taste.
1 medium leek, thinly sliced.
2 tblsp lard.
400g lean diced pork [large fillet is excellent].
2 tblsp plain flour.
½ cup sultanas.
1 400g tin kidney beans, drained.
2 cups fresh broccoli florets.

Place the apricot, garlic, ginger, vinegar and stock in a bowl and leave to soak for an hour. Using a hand blender, zap to a paste and set aside. In a small bowl mix together the spices and the salt and set aside. Prepare the leek and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat the lard in a frying pan over a hot flame and brown the meat all over. Remove to the tagine and add the leek to the frying pan. Stir fry until the rings are starting to separate then sprinkle over the spice mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add the flour. Stir through until absorbed then add the apricot mixture, the sultanas and the beans. Stir through until the sauce mixture thickens then add to the tagine. Stir through to combine, cover and place in the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, remove and stir well. If too dry, stir in a little hot water. Replace the lid and cook for a further 45 minutes. Remove again, stir, sprinkle with the broccoli, replace the lid and cook for another 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves: 2.

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