Zungeru Peanut Pork

This is a variation on a traditional West African recipe, where the popularity of the combination of pork and peanuts is well established.

1 X 4 lb. boned loin of pork, trimmed of excess fat

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

12 oz. shelled peanuts

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon water

8 oz. cooked ham, very thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Rub the pork all over with half the salt and pepper and place it, fat side down, on a working surface. Set aside.

Place the peanuts, peanut oil, water and the remaining salt and pepper in the jar of an electric blender. Blend the mixture for 20 seconds or until the peanuts have formed a thick paste which still has small pieces of whole nut in it.

Alternatively, place the peanuts in a mortar and crush them into small pieces. Empty the crushed peanuts into a small bowl and, using the back of a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the peanut oil, water and the remaining salt and pepper until the mixture forms a crunchy paste.

Spoon three-quarters of the peanut mixture on to the pork. With a flat-bladcd knife, spread the peanut mixture to within

1-inch of the edge of the meat. Arrange the slices of ham over the peanut mixture.

Roll up the meat tightly and tie securely, with trussing string, at 1-inch intervals.

Place the meat on a rack in a roasting tin and roast for 2 to 2 hours, or 30 to 35 minutes per pound depending on the thickness of the cut, or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Five minutes before the end of the roasting time, remove the roasting tin from the oven. Remove and discard the string.

Spread the remaining peanut mixture over the top of the pork and return the roasting tin to the oven. Increase the heat to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C) and roast for 5 minutes or until the peanuts on the outside of the pork have formed a golden-brown crust.

Remove the tin from the oven and transfer the pork to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately.

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