Pot-roasted pork loin with bay leaves and fino sherry

Gordon hosts a great dinner party – I can testify to that. His choice of recipe is always sure to impress, especially the way he can handle a duck, and a salmon (more on those later).

This recipe is one of his ‘winners’ and although I have yet to try it, at Gordon’s or at mine, I love pork so there’s no doubt this will be on my ‘to cook’ list. I’ll post pictures when I do.

According to Gordon this is especially good served with spring vegetables and saffron potatoes.

Firstly, here’s how to cook the meat.


  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1.5 kg pork loin, skin removed but keep the fat on it
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 cup fino sherry (a very light dry sherry)
  • Half a cup of chicken stock


Grind the seeds until quite fine and then rub over pork. Tie the pork with string to keep it round. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in casserole or large heavy-bottomed pot and brown pork, fat side first. Saute onions and bay leaves in casserole or pot until onions are soft. Add pork and fino sherry. Bring to boil, then add chicken stock.

Turn right down and gently pot roast (you will need a lid) for 40 minutes. Turn pork over half way through. Set aside for 20 minutes, resting in sauce. Carve and pour the sauce over the various portions.

To make the saffron potatoes:

Saute a couple of onions until soft. Add saffron. Add agria potatoes and cook until they have a little bit of colour then season with salt and pepper, pour in a cup of chicken stock and cover the roasting pan with foil and  bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 10.

Delicious. Enjoy!

(Photos by Pete – thanks!)


    1. Alan

      Hi Thrash,

      I have a friend who is going to cook this dish this weekend. Hopefully I’ll get some good pics from him. If you have a go at this can you let us know what you think of it?

      And have you got any good recipes you want to throw on here?


      1. I haven’t done this yet but I have been cooking pork bellies recently. I stuff and roll them as below:

        Heat your oven to 230C. Make sure it is up to heat!

        Step 1: If the skin isn’t scored enough, lay the pork flat, skin side up. Get a very sharp knife and cut some scores into it that go into the fat but not the meat. Has to be very sharp.

        1) Decide how you are going to roll it. Ideally you want to roll it so the grain runs across the roll rather than along it. If you don’t do this, then the pork falls into long strings when you try to slice it.

        2) Lay it skin side down. Get a tin of anchovies and lay them out down the centre of the pork. You don’t need to go to the edges where you are going to roll it from. I usually cover a strip of pork about 7 to 10 cm wide. One tin will be enough.

        3) destone a whole lot of black olives and roughly chop them. Pile them on the anchovies and spread them out over the same strip. You want enough to cover the strip completely to a depth of at least 1cm.

        4) get a couple of cloves of garlic and chop them roughly. Throw in a couple of handfuls of good parsley and chop them together with the garlic very finely. I think the proper term is persilade. Put this over the pork.

        5) cut string into lengths that will go right around the pork with plenty to spare. You need to be able to easily tie the ends. You will need enough to tie them about 2cm apart right along the length of the roll. Lay the strings out on a board about 2cm apart.

        6) Carefully place the pork on the string in the with the strings running in the direction you are going to roll it. Then carefully bring the ends of the pork together. They can overlap a bit if necessary. Tie the very centre string so the roll is held together. It should be firm, not loose, but not so tight the string cuts into the skin. Working out from the centre continue tying the string around the pork. If any stuffing falls out, poke it back in. Cut the string ends off.

        7) Salt the skin all over. Salt it well! Place in a roasting pan – no oil or fat – and place in the oven which should be VERY HOT (230C). Cook it for half an hour.

        8) Turn the oven down to 160C and open the door. Let the heat out. When the temp is almost down. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the skin. Shut the door and leave for 1.5 hours.

        9) Get half a cup of white wine. Start basting the pork every 15 minutes. When you run out of wine, scoop all the lovely dark fatty/wine mix from the bottom of the pan over the skin. A turkey baster comes in handy here.

        10) How long to leave it for? The last one I did weighed 1.5kg and I cooked it for about 3 hours. I cooked a 3.1kg one for around 5 hours. This is very much a “feel” process for me so I can’t give you exact instructions.

        11) Remove from the oven and rest the meat for 20 – 30 minutes. Remove the strings carefully. They will be stuck. Remove the skin and lay it out one a plate for cutting up. If the skin needs a little more cooking to complete the crackle, you can remove it before resting the meat and put it back in the oven on a higher heat.

        12) Slice the pork. They will need to be fairly thick slices and you will need a reasonable knife. However, you should be able to just pull it apart if you need to.

        1. Alan

          Hi Thrash,

          Thanks for the new recipe on pork belly – if it’s OK with you I’ll relegate this to a real recipe – with it’s own page! If you have any pictures send them through and I’ll give you ALL the credit.

          Thanks for visiting!


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