Pork, squash and apple tagine

I knew when I woke up this morning that I needed double the hours in my diary to get everything done. On days like this I don’t want my nutrition to be the bottom priority – and it’s even more important to have an enjoyable meal in the evening.

Tagines are the ultimate quick-prep-slow-cook meal option and today’s recipe was cobbled together using some meat I got out of the freezer last night and a quick root around the fridge this morning. If you haven’t got a tagine you can always use a slow cooker – or vice versa.


  • 500g organic pork collar (or similar) cut into large chunks (meat)
  • 300g butternut squash cut into chunks (vegetable)
  • 1 medium cooking apple cored and sliced into chunks (fruit)
  • 1 leek sliced into 1″ rounds (onion)
  • 6 cloves of garlic in their skins
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste ( I like the Belazu Rose Harissa)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 4″ stick of cinnamon
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • a few chunks of lemon peel
  • salt and pepper
  • extra chilli to taste


  1. Prepare all the above ingredients and toss together to evenly distribute spices.
  2. Place the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 3 hours.
  3. Taste, if you can, at the 2 hour point and adjust seasoning – more or less salt? extra chilli? a dash of pomegranate molasses?
  4. Serve with broccoli or cavolo nero, a dollop of natural yoghurt and some coriander leaves.


The recipe above can be endlessly varied by chopping and changing the meat, vegetable, fruit and onion combination. For example:

  • Meat: beef, lamb, pork, chicken, venison
  • Vegetable: squash, courgette, carrot, sweet potato, red pepper, tomatoes
  • Fruit: cooking apple, dried prunes or apricots,
  • Onion: onion, shallots, leeks, etc.

The spices can also be varied according to taste: cinnamon, cumin, coriander seeds, cardamom, cayenne, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cloves – experiment with different flavour combinations.

NB You can get a more authentic flavour from a tagine but they need to be watched a little more carefully. Still a great fast food option though.

4 thoughts on “Pork, squash and apple tagine

  1. Gordon Serpis says:

    Dawny, should there be some liquid in this recipe? I’ve made your recipe tonight and added a couple of tins of tomatoes, smells great but not scoffed it yet.

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