Pork, fennel & leek braise

A slow cooked pork and fennel braise in a pomegranate sauce

For a number of years now, my husband and I have been obsessing over a recipe in Nigel Slater’s Eat for a chicken, leek and fennel braise. We make it all the time, and it is so tasty with some couscous on the side. This recipe is inspired by Nigel Slater’s recipe, but cooked in the slow cooker in a large batch for added convenience – both time saving and it makes an extra meal for the freezer stores.

As my baby is starting to be able to eat what our family eats, I have been starting to create recipes that will be adaptable for his meals as well. This saves doubling up on the cooking, and ensures that the transition to family dinners will be simple! Once his portion was put aside, I added pomegranate molasses for added depth of flavour and yumminess.


Pork, fennel and leek braise

  • Servings: 4
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  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1.5kg pork loin roast
  • 1 leek, halved and sliced
  • 1 fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • 1 ½ cups low salt liquid chicken stock
  • 1 tbs pomegranate molasses
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup giant couscous to serve


  1. Heat the slow cooker up to ‘sear’ function or use a fry pan for this first step. Heat the olive oil and sear the pork on all sides until golden.
  2. Add the leek and fennel, and toss to soften for several minutes. Add the flour.
  3. Add the chicken stock and 1 ½ cups boiling water, then turn the heat down and cook on ‘slow cook’ function for 3 hours.
  4. Once cooked, remove the meat and vegetables to a saucepan and cover to keep warm. At this point, remove a portion for pureeing for baby if applicable. Turn the heat on the sauce up to ‘sear’ function again and reduce, adding the pomegranate molasses and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the liquid by approximately half, so that it will form a thick coating on the meat and vegetables.
  5. Add the meat and vegetables back to the liquid, and serve on a bed of giant couscous cooked according to packet instructions with chicken stock. Top with fronds of fennel for garnish.



Steak with crispy couscous

A paprika and garlic steak with crispy bacon couscous, green beans and tomatoes

What meat-eating person doesn’t love a steak? I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, pretend to know anything much about the cooking of the ‘perfect steak’, but I do enjoy eating it all the same. Steak is a fantastic hot-weather food. For me, it alludes to summer breezes, beaches, dining outside and BBQs. Those things usually go alongside holidays and good times.

A paprika and garlic steak with crispy bacon couscous, green beans and tomatoes

I have been making this dish recently, which has become a fast favourite due to its speedy preparation and flavour-bomb tastes. A one-pan dish (excepting the dish you ‘cook’ the couscous in), it is light on labour and on the washing up!

I also always keep a bag of frozen green beans and bacon in the freezer. Along with a few pantry staples, the only fresh ingredients on the list for this dish are steak and tomatoes. Simple!

A paprika and garlic steak with crispy bacon couscous, green beans and tomatoes

Steak with crispy couscous

  • Servings: 2
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  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 400g beef steak
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 1 ½ cups green beans
  • 3 tomatoes


  1. Put a griddle pan on high and heat the olive oil.
  2. Rub the steak with paprika, garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Fry the steak 5 mins on the first side, 3 min on the other. Remove steak from the griddle pan and wrap in foil to rest.
  4. Boil the kettle, and add 1 cup boiling water to a bowl with the stock cube. Stir to dissolve. Add the couscous, stir and cover for 10 mins.
  5. Cook the bacon on the pan until crispy, and then add the green beans and tomatoes until softened, jammy and a little blistered.
  6. Once the couscous is cooked, fluff it up with a fork and add to your griddle pan. Do not stir for 5 mins or so, so that the bottom of the couscous becomes crispy and golden.
  7. Slice the steak into thin slices and serve on top of your crispy couscous.