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It’s time to dig out the slow cooker and make the most of cheaper cuts of meat. Get them chugging away early in the day, so that by dinnertime the house is filled with gorgeous savoury aromas and you’ll have everyone clamouring around.


  • 2.9 kg pork shoulder on the bone, skin removed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsps moked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Azzuro extra virgin olive oil
  • carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
  • sticks celery thickly sliced
  • onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 cup Due Vittorie apple vinegar
  • arrowroot, for thickening (optional)


  1. Bring pork to room temperature and preheat slow cooker on high.
  2. Remove skin and excess fat from the pork shoulder. Mix salt, fennel seeds, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and black pepper together in a bowl. Spoon some of the spice mix in between each pork bone, and some on the sides of the meat.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat in a roasting tin or frying pan big enough to hold the pork. Add pork fat facing down and let it brown to a good golden colour. Transfer pork to a plate browned side up.
  4. Put vegetables in a saucepan with 1½ Tbsp oil, cover with a lid and cook gently for 15 minutes until wilted; don’t brown. Use a scraper to transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker. Pour in cider. Transfer pork to slow cooker browned side facing up. Spread remaining spice mixture over the top of the meat. Cover with a lid and cook for 4 hours until so tender the meat is falling off the bone.
  5. To serve, transfer pork to a chopping board and cover with tin foil. Scoop out vegetables with a slotted spoon and put them in a heated bowl. Serve juices as they are, skimming them or passing them through a fat separating jug, or thicken them with a little arrowroot (transfer to a small saucepan and stir in arrowroot mixed with cold water. Bring to the boil, stirring, bubble for 2 minutes, then serve).

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