Maggie Beer

Berkshire Pork Loin with Cavolo Nero, Verjuice and Grapes with Granny Smith Sauce

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Step 1: You will require a digital or meat thermometer for this recipe.

Step 2: Using a sharp knife, score the skin of pork at 1cm intervals just through to the fat, taking care not to cut through to the meat.

Step 3: Place pork on a wire rack set over the sink and pour over about 1L of boiling water to open up the skin. Pat dry well with a paper towel.

Step 4: Gently pound fennel seeds, lemon zest and bay leaves to break up slightly, then add sea salt flakes and mix until combined. Rub fennel seed mixture into pork skin and incisions. Place on a tray, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Step 5: Remove pork loin from the fridge and set aside about 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Step 6: Preheat oven to 250°C fan-forced or as high a temperature as possible. Brush excess salt mixture from pork, then pat dry with a paper towel. Transfer pork to a baking dish, then place in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes.

Step 7: Remove pork from the oven when the internal temperature is 62°C. Pour Verjuice over the sides and bottom of the pork. After resting for 5-7 minutes the thermometer should reach 70°C.

Step 8: Allow to rest for a further 10 minutes in a warm place. Drain pan juices into a glass jug or bowl and allow fat to separate. Scoop off ¾ of the fat and discard, reserving the remaining juices for grapes and Verjuice.

Step 9: Carve pork thinly across the grain to serve.

Step 10: For the Granny Smith sauce, peel one apple and leave the other apple unpeeled, then cut it into 1cm pieces and set aside.

Step 11: Place a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and thyme, and cook until butter is fragrant and has turned nut brown.

Step 12: Add olive oil to prevent the butter from burning.

Step 13: Add apples to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, then add sugar, and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes until apples are lightly caramelised.

Step 14: Add Verjuice to pan and cook for a further minute until thickened slightly. Add water and a pinch of salt, then reduce heat down to medium, cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples start breaking down.

Step 15: Remove from heat and roughly mash up apples with a fork. Season to taste.

Step 16: For the cavolo nero, wash leaves and shake off most of the water. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.

Step 17: Cook cavolo nero for 3-4 minutes until wilted, then add butter and toss to combine. Season to taste.

Step 18: For the grapes with Verjuice and tarragon, place a large non-stick frying pan over low heat.

Step 19: Add grapes to pan with Verjuice and heat until warmed through, then pan juices and tarragon.

Step 20: Remove from heat and season to taste.

Step 21: Serve pork with apple sauce, cavolo nero and grapes with verjuice and tarragon.



  1. 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  2. 1 lemon zest from one lemon finely grated
  3. 1/4 cup sea salt flakes
  4. 62ml 1/4 cup Verjuice

Granny Smith Sauce

  1. 6 thyme sprigs leaves picked
  2. 2 tbspn caster sugar
  3. 125ml 1/2 cup Verjuice
  4. 125ml 1/2 cup water
  5. To Taste salt to taste

Braised Cavolo Nero

  1. 1 bunch cavolo nero stripped, roughly chopped
  2. 40g butter

Grapes with Verjuice and Tarragon

  1. 80g 1/2 cup large red seedless grapes halved
  2. 80g 1/2 cup large green seedless grapes halved
  3. 14ml 1 tbspn Verjuice
  4. 2 tsp tarragon leaves roughly chopped

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