Yet we have the chance to honour the Easter tradition of food for family, prepared and shared with love. Let’s clear the decks, make space and set a table fit for an Easter celebration.
Pork is so delicious, versatile and affordable, you can make a feast of the Easter Friday or Sunday lunch with our easy recipe below.
Taste the possibilities
Most flavours go well with pork but it is especially tasty when combined with something sweet like fruit.
Roast fruit Put whole fruit like small apples, pears, plums and figs in a roasting pan, brush with oil and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over. Roast until the skins are crisp and the fruit is tender.
Cheese and pork are excellent together.
Mustard is a classic accompaniment to pork. Mix a little honey and mayonnaise with mustard and serve it with the meat.
Herbs such as fresh sage and coriander impart fabulous flavour, while spices like star anise, ginger, cinnamon sticks and cardamom are perfect with pork.
Don’t overcook pork – it’s ready when the meat just turns white. Because of its low fat content inside the meat fibers, and because the fat is on the outside, pork becomes dry when overcooked.
Though you are not going to share this Easter with lots of family and friends, you can still spoil your closest loved ones with a lovely meal. Shanks aren’t only affordable, they’re finger-licking tasty.
Preparation: 5 Min | Cooking: 3 Hours | Serves 4
60ml (¼c) oil
115g tomato paste
45-60ml (3-4T) brown vinegar
45ml (3T) soy sauce
180ml (¾c) brown sugar
15ml (1T) paprika
10ml (2t) mustard powder
5ml (1t) ground ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 onions, finely diced
3 thyme sprigs
3 fresh bay leaves
4 x 500g pork shanks, skin scored
mashed potatoes and coleslaw
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Mix together all the ingredients except the shanks and salt.
- Place the shanks in a roasting pan and pour over the mixture.
- Rub the skin with salt.
- Lightly cover with foil and roast for 3 hours or until the meat falls off the bone.
- Regularly baste with the sauce and remove foil for last 15 min.
- To crisp up the skin around the pork shanks, remove from the cooking liquid, place on a baking sheet, turn up the heat and roast at 230°C for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
- Place pan juices and sauce on the stove and simmer it has reduced and slightly thickens.
- Serve the shanks with the sauce and some mashed potatoes and coleslaw.
See our tips below for ideas for leftovers, in case you have any!
- Slice the meat into thin slices or strips and serve on crispy rolls with salad leaves and mustard
- Use the strips of pork in stir-fry rice or with pasta.
- Pull the pork into thin pieces with two forks, mix with some mayonnaise and use as a filling for wraps with grated carrot and apple slices.
- Use as a filling for sarmies, braaibroodjies or in snackwiches together with cheddar cheese and chutney.
- Use the pulled pork as a filling for an omelette or frittata.
- Leg of pork (on the bone) – most affordable and versatile meat
- Shoulder/neck – the most tender and juiciest cut. It can be portioned into steaks or used whole (stuffed and roasted in the oven or in a pot). This is the best cut for Asian dishes and for kebabs.
- Rump steaks (porterhouse steaks are cut from the same section)
- Goulash cubes (from the leg)
- Pork rashers
- Pork loin strips
- Lean mince
- Loin chops
- Spare ribs (although not expensive per kilogram, you need a lot per serving)
- Rib chops
- Pork belly