Spicy Pork Tagine with Nectarines

This is one of those dishes that resulted from a bit of an experiment with what I happened to have to hand, but I was delighted with how it turned out – sweet, smoky, and packing a bit of a punch with the spices. If you’ve got an actual tagine, then of course use that, but if not, don’t be put off – you can easily just simmer this in the saucepan to get a similar result.

2 pork steaks
1 nectarine
2 sweet red peppers
1 onion
About half a pint of chicken stock
Half a glass of red wine
2 tbsp of Rossini’s BerBere spice mix, OR a pinch each of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger, and a tsp of chillies
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil
200g couscous
Natural yoghurt, to serve

Serves 2

First of all, cut the pork steaks into bite-sized chunks and dice the onion finely. Pop both into a saucepan with a splash of oil and the spices and give it a stir to coat the meat, then turn the heat to medium and leave it to sizzle for a moment. In the meantime, deseed the peppers and cut into narrow strips, then stone and carefully peel the nectarine – there’s nothing wrong with the skin of course, but it’ll be a bit chewy in the final dish, so it’s best to carefully slice it off with a sharp knife. Chop the fruit roughly, then once the meat has browned and the onions are starting to soften, add the peppers and nectarine to the pan. Pour in the red wine and let it sizzle away, stirring all the while.

Once the red wine has mostly disappeared, leaving just a lovely essence behind, pour in the stock and get it bubbling. Season well. Then, if you’re using a tagine, transfer the mixture to it and place on a low heat for about forty minutes. If you’re not using a tagine, pop the saucepan lid on and leave on a low heat for the same amount of time.

When the timer goes, give the tagine a stir and have a taste to check nothing’s missing. Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the packet, then drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve up a couple of generous fluffy spoonfuls, top with the fragrant tagine and tuck in with a little natural yoghurt to counter the heat from the spices.