Chocolate junkie pig

Willie Harcourt-Cooze puts a playful and delicious twist on a pork shoulder roast by injecting a cacao-rich marinade deep into the flesh
Chocolate junkie pig
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 ml white wine
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • ½ bulbs garlic, cloves separated and roughly chopped
  • 10 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 25 g cacao, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2.5 kg rolled pork shoulder, skin deeply scored

To serve

  • nutmeg-flavoured mashed potato
  • wilted spinach leaves

Tips and Suggestions

This method of marinating is very effective because the syringe pushes the marinade deep into the flesh of the pork. If you don't have a syringe, use a turkey baster. Alternatively, you could leave the shoulder in the marinade overnight but the flavour won't penetrate the meat as much.

You can turn the pan juices into gravy by adding a splash of wine, some stock and a touch more cacao.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8.

2. Place the wine and balsamic vinegar in a small non-reactive pan and bring to the boil. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half, then add the garlic, ginger, chilli and honey. Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the wine mixture into a bowl, discarding the solids. Add the grated cacao and stir until melted.

4. Grind the fennel seeds and sea salt together using a pestle and mortar. Put the pork shoulder in a roasting tin and rub the fennel salt all over the pork, making sure the mixture gets into the slits in the pork skin.

5. Load the marinade into a large gauge syringe (or turkey baster) and evenly inject it into the pork, inserting it all over the meat.

6. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, or until the skin has turned golden brown. Turn the oven temperature down to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 and continue roasting for a further 2 hours, or until the pork is cooked through. Raise the heat for the last 4-5 minutes to crisp the skin.

7. Let the pork rest for 10-15 minutes before carving it thickly. Arrange the sliced meat on serving plates and accompany with mashed potatoes flavoured with a hint of nutmeg and some wilted spinach.

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