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Pork shoulder with cornbread and figgy olive pickle

Pork shoulder recipe with cornbread and figgy olive pickle. Make extra of the pickle- it is really wonderful with Cheddar.
Øivind Haug

'This reminds me of the harvest in our West Country orchards and the pigs that sometimes graze in them, hoovering up the windfalls. The pickle can be made in advance (it makes about 700g) and do make extra if you can -it is really wonderful with Cheddar. The cornbread makes one loaf of about 600g.' - Rose Prince


Serves 6

For the cornbread

235g cornmeal or polenta grains
200g plain flour
3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g light brown sugar
3 eggs
75g butter, melted, plus a little extra
390g natural whole-milk yogurt or buttermilk
1 rosy apple

For the pork

2kg rolled, boned shoulder of free-range pork, rind on and scored
3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2tsp dried oregano
300ml good-quality dry cider

For the pickle

300g pitted kalamata olives
100ml balsamic vinegar
120g soft brown sugar
200g dried figs, halved and sliced
  1. Method

    Step 1

    You can prepare the cornbread up to a few hours in advance, then reheat it, but if you have a double oven and can cook it at the same time, it will benefit from being served warm straight from the oven. Heat the oven for the bread to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/mark 4 and line a 20cm round or square tin with some baking parchment. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and 11/2tsp salt. Beat in the eggs, butter and yogurt and turn into the tin.

    Step 2

    Bake the cornbread for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160˚C/fan oven 140˚C/mark 3 and cook for a further 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with a cloth to keep it warm.

    Step 3

    For the pork, heat the oven to 240˚C/fan oven 220˚C/mark 9. Put the pork in a colander in the sink and pour a kettle of boiling water over it for good crackling. Rub the rind and joint with the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and add the oregano. Place in a roasting dish and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170˚C/fan oven 150˚C/mark 3 and roast for another 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in a warm place to rest for 10-15 minutes.

    Step 4

    Remove the fat from the pan. Place the pan on a medium heat and add the cider. When the liquid bubbles, scrape the pan with a wooden spatula. Simmer for about 2 minutes, then strain into a small pan and set aside, ready to reheat later before serving.

    Step 5

    Drain the olives, roughly chop, then put them in a saucepan with the other pickle ingredients and 50ml cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water. Taste the pickle - add a little balsamic vinegar if too sweet or extra sugar if too sour. Transfer to a container and store until needed.

    Step 6

    Remove the crackling from the pork, cut or break it into strips and slice the pork quite thin. Serve the pork with the crackling, the juices and the pickle. Serve the warm cornbread whole, cutting slices as needed.