Moroccan Pork Hocks with Apple and Almond Couscous

Linger a little longer in the kitchen and make a Moroccan meal with Maria Elia's slow-cooked pork supper
By Maria Elia
Moroccan Pork Hocks with Apple and Almond Couscous
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: medium


For the spice paste

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 pinches strands saffron
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 small pork hocks, skin removed

For the pork casserole

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, diced
  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 x 4 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 1 x 400 g canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tsp clear honey
  • 1/2 orange, pared zest only
  • 1 litres chicken stock
  • 50 g coriander leaves, chopped
  • 25 g flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon juice, to taste

For the apple and almond couscous

  • 450 g quick-cook couscous
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 450 ml boiling water
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 25 g blanched flaked almonds, toasted
  • 25 g coriander leaves, chopped, plus 1 tbsp for garnish
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, choped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic, cardamom and coriander seeds with the ginger, saffron and salt. Add the remaining spices and five tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir until it becomes a paste.

2. Rub the paste all over the hocks, cover and chill for several hours (overnight if possible).

3. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a roasting tin over a medium heat, and brown the hocks on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

5. Add the onions, carrots, fennel and chilli to the pan and cook until lightly coloured.

6. Return the hocks to the pan - add the cinnamon, tomatoes, honey, orange peel and stock. Cover the tin with foil and transfer to the oven. Cook for two hours, until the meat is very tender.

7. Remove the hocks from the tin and keep warm. Pour the cooking juices from the tin into a saucepan and skim off any surface fat. Simmer the sauce until it has reduced by one quarter.

8. Add the fresh herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sharpen with lemon juice.

9. Place the couscous, butter and salt in a large heatproof bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and leave to soften and swell for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains, and stir in the apple, almonds, herbs and spices.

10. Garnish the pork hocks with fresh coriander, and serve with the apple and almond couscous.

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