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Pulled pork with sage, apples & pears

Jul 21, 2021 | Mains, Meat

In Italian-style
This Italian-inspired dish of pulled pork made with slow-roasted pork shoulder, herbs, cider and dried fruit, will fill your home with rich and delicious aromas. The depth of sweet, fruity flavours provides the perfect winter comfort food. Serve it on creamy polenta and don’t omit the pear gremolata, it’s really special. I don’t want to try and say too much about this recipe, just make it soon! And although dried Pink Lady® Apple Wedges from Cecilia Farm’s range were part of this pulled pork recipe, you can easily use fresh Pink Lady® Apples when they are in season. Substitute the dried wedges with 3 fresh apples in the skin, cut into thick wedges. The apples will become part of the pan juices to form a beautiful sauce. Even if the apples soften after the long, slow cooking process, it will add some sweetness to the dish – always delicious with pork.

Cecilia’s Farm has a delicious range of dried fruit and nuts which are perfect for snacks, but divine in cooking too. Visit their online shop here.


Pulled pork with sage, apples and pears
Pulled pork with sage, apples and pears
Pulled pork with sage, apples & pears

Recipe developed for Cecilia’s Farm
Serves 6



1,5 kg pork shoulder, excess fat removed and the skin scored

30 ml (2 tbsp) wholegrain mustard

5 large leeks, cut in thick diagonal slices

100 g Cecilia’s Farm Pink Lady® Apple Wedges

150 g Cecilia’s Farm Bon Chrétien Pears, halved lengthwise

8-10 sprigs fresh thyme

20-25 fresh sage leaves

2 bay leaves

5 thick strips of lemon rind

2 x 330 ml bottles cider

250 ml (1 cup) strong Rooibos tea

salt and pepper to taste

Pear gremolata

30 ml (2 tbsp) grated pecorino or parmesan cheese

30 ml (2 tbsp) finely grated lemon rind

60 ml (¼ cup) coarsely chopped Cecilia’s Farm Roasted & Salted Macadamias

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh sage

6 Cecilia’s Farm Bon Chrétien Pears, thinly sliced


1,5 litres (6 cups) water

375 ml (1 ½ cups) quick-cooking polenta

45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

60 ml (¼ cup) grated pecorino or parmesan cheese


1. Pork: Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Place pork in a deep oven dish and rub all over with mustard. Arrange leeks, apples, pears, thyme, sage, bay leaves and lemon rind around the pork.

2. Pour cider and tea around the meat and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil or a lid and roast for 3½-4 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to shred with a fork. Check the meat every hour or so to make sure it has enough liquid. Mix the fruit and veggies through once or twice to coat in the cooking liquid.

3. Remove the meat from the liquid to cool slightly. Remove skin and excess fat and gently shred meat with a fork.

4. Stir meat into the cooking liquid. If preferred, add another 125-250 ml (½-1 cup) Rooibos tea to the shredded meat. The mixture shouldn’t be too dry. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Pear gremolata: Mix all the ingredients together to make a fresh topping.

6. Polenta: Just before serving, place water and a pinch of salt in a large pot and heat until just before it starts to simmer. Add polenta and stir continuously for 5-10 minutes or until cooked. Stir in olive oil, cheese and season to taste.

7. Serve pork on the polenta and sprinkle gremolata over.

1. Ask the butcher to score the skin of the pork shoulder, to make it easier for you.

Images courtesy of Cecilia’s Farm.
Images by Adel Ferreira.

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