Roast pork with chestnuts, mushrooms and juniper berries.


30g (1¼oz) dried porcini, or mixed wild mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg (2lb 4oz) shoulder or leg of pork, cut into 2.5cm (1in) cubes
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
20 juniper berries
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
250ml (9fl oz) white wine
200g (7oz) field mushrooms, sliced
25g (1oz) butter
50ml (2fl oz) dry marsala
125g (4½oz) cooked chestnuts, halved


Make this in advance if you can – it tastes even better the next day. Serve with mash or polenta.

Cover the dried mushrooms with 150ml (5fl oz) boiling water and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.

Heat 1½ tbsp of the olive oil in a casserole and colour the pork in batches over a high heat, until it's well browned on all sides. As each batch is browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. When all the pork has been fried, add the onions to the fat in the pan and sauté over a medium heat until soft and pale gold.

Put the juniper berries in a mortar and crush them, then add the rosemary and bruise it to release its fragrance. Add to the onion, along with the garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring. Deglaze the pan by adding the balsamic vinegar and wine and stirring to dislodge the flavour that's stuck to the pan.

Return the pork and all its juices to the pan along with the wild mushrooms and their soaking liquor. Bring the mixture to the boil, season, then turn the heat down as low as you can and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for two hours, stirring from time to time.

After an hour and a half, heat the rest of the olive oil in a frying-pan and sauté the fresh mushrooms over a high heat. When they are well coloured add the butter and season. Add the marsala, let it bubble away until there is almost nothing left, then tip all this, with the chestnuts, into the casserole of pork and stir to combine. You should find that the juices around the pork are the right thickness, but if not, leave the casserole uncovered for a bit so the liquor can reduce. Check for seasoning before serving.