Pork and Parsnip Cobbler

For a substantial meal try Tony Tobin's tasty recipe for wine-braised pork baked with a suet pastry crust
By Tony Tobin
Pork and Parsnip Cobbler
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 900 g diced leg of pork
  • 2 small onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 225 g dried apricots
  • grated zest of 1 lemons
  • grated zest of 1 oranges
  • 2 Cox's apples
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • pinch of curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 350 ml red wine
  • black pepper
  • 450 g parsnips, peeled and diced
  • mashed potatoes or new potatoes or rice, to serve

For the cobbler topping:

  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • black pepper
  • 75 g suet
  • 55 g chilled butter
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemons
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 egg, beaten


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a casserole dish. Fry the pork in batches until golden brown, taking out each batch as it is fried.

2. Once all the pork has been fried, add the onions to the pan and fry them gently for 2-3 minutes.

3. Return the pork to the pan and sprinkle with the flour, stirring well.

4. Shred the celery and add to the pork along with the apricots, lemon and orange zest, apple, garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, curry powder and ground fennel.

5. Pour in the red wine, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours until the pork is tender.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Place the remaining oil in a roasting tray, tipping the tray to spread it evenly, and heat through in the oven.

7. Add the parsnips to the hot oil, coating well, and roast until golden brown and cooked through, around 20 minutes. Set aside.

8. Mix the roast parsnips with the simmered pork and set aside to cool.

9. To make the cobbler topping, sift the flour into a mixing bowl and season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

10. Lightly mix in the suet and grated butter using a fork.

11. Make a well in the centre and add the lemon zest and juice and enough water to make a soft, pliable dough. Quickly bring the dough together, taking care not to over-work the dough.

12. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface as thinly as possible. Cut into rounds using a 7.5cm cutter.

13. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4.

14. Place the cooled pork and parsnip mixture in an earthenware dish and cover with overlapping dough circles.

15. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

16. Serve with mashed potatoes, new potatoes or rice.

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