This Christ­mas, cook up a show­stop­per (or two) with suc­cu­lent and ver­sa­tile South African pork.

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Makes one 30cm wreath Prepa­ra­tion time: 20 min­utes for rolling and fold­ing, plus rest­ing time Bak­ing time: 30 min­utes Oven tem­per­a­ture: 180°C

• 250g streaky ba­con, chopped • about 1kg risen bread dough (home­made or store-bought) • about 45ml Di­jon­naise or your favourite mus­tard • about 12 slices smoked ham • 12 slices moz­zarella

Fry the ba­con in a pan un­til the fat has ren­dered and the ba­con is crispy. Cool.

2 Add the crispy ba­con (and fat, if de­sired) to the dough and fold it in, us­ing your hands; this step also knocks down the dough. It may be a bit dif­fi­cult to knead in the ba­con, so use a fold­ing ac­tion to spread the ba­con and to form flavour­some lay­ers in the dough.

3 Us­ing a rolling pin, flat­ten the dough into a large rec­tan­gle. Use a palette knife to lift the dough up from the work­top. Roll out again if the dough shrinks too much, mak­ing sure it doesn’t stick.

4 Spread the Di­jon­naise over the dough. Us­ing a large round cut­ter, cut the dough into cir­cles about 12cm in di­am­e­ter. Work­ing with one cir­cle at a time, place a slice of ham fol­lowed by a slice of cheese on the dough and fold it into a half-moon shape over the fill­ing. Bring the two ends of the half-moon to­gether and place this with the open side up against the edge of a greased ring pan or on a bak­ing tray that’s well greased with non-stick spray. Re­peat with all the dough cir­cles and ar­range the folded dough snugly in a cir­cle to form a wreath. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and al­low to rise un­til it has dou­bled in vol­ume.

5 Pre­heat the oven. Bake the loaf wreath for about 30 min­utes or un­til cooked and risen. Serve hot or at room tem­per­a­ture.

The smoky flavour of the crispy ba­con com­bined with creamy moz­zarella and thinly-sliced ham makes this loaf a fes­tive crowd-pleaser!


The se­cret to a de­li­cious rib-eye cut from the pork shoul­der is to cook it low and slow. Serves a crowd if you carve thin slices • Prepa­ra­tion time: 30 min­utes • Cook­ing time: about 5 hours • Oven tem­per­a­ture: 220°C and 160°

• 3kg deboned rib-eye pork roast, skin on, at room tem­per­a­ture • 15ml sea salt flakes • a pinch each of co­rian­der, fen­nel, cumin and cayenne pep­per • 250ml ginger beer • 30ml bal­samic vine­gar • 1 onion, sliced FILL­ING • 1 ciabatta roll, crumbed • 1 sprig rose­mary, leaves stripped and finely chopped • 15ml olive oil • 500g fresh sage-flavoured pork bangers, cas­ings re­moved • 30ml dried cran­ber­ries

1 Pre­heat the grill. Pre­pare the fill­ing by mix­ing the bread­crumbs, fresh herbs and oil; roast un­der the grill un­til the bread­crumbs are crunchy. Mix with the pork banger meat and cran­ber­ries. Re­duce the oven tem­per­a­ture to 220°C.

2 Place the pork roast on your work sur­face, fat side down, and but­ter­fly the meat slightly. Sea­son with salt and pep­per then spread the fill­ing over the en­tire sur­face in an even layer. Wrap the meat care­fully over the fill­ing to form a neat roll and place it in an oven­proof dish, fat side up.

3 Us­ing a sharp craft knife, score the skin in a di­a­mond pat­tern or make lines (we made a fes­tive star shape). Pat dry with kitchen towel and rub the skin with the salt and spices. Roast for about 30 min­utes at 220°C to get the crack­ling go­ing.

4 Turn the tem­per­a­ture down to 160°C, add the ginger beer, vine­gar and onion, and cover the dish with a dou­ble layer of foil. Roast for 4–5 hours un­til the meat is melt-in-your-mouth ten­der and suc­cu­lent. Be aware that the bal­samic vine­gar will make the crack­ling darker.

5 Check whether the crack­ling is crispy enough; if not, place un­der the grill to add crunch. Place the meat on a pretty serv­ing plat­ter; roasted car­rots, sweet potato and ap­ple rings add the fi­nal flour­ish to this tasty dish. Skim off the fat from the pan juices and serve this de­li­cious gravy with the meal.

1 Check out the video on

Be pa­tient with the amount of time it takes to cook – it’s worth the wait!

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