Spiced Elizabethan Pork and Fruit Casserole

Total Time
2hrs 45mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins

The use of spices and fruit in savoury recipes during the Elizabethan era was very popular, especially with the upper classes and the Royal court. This is based on a genuine Elizabethan recipe, which I have adapted for modern day cooking! I have included potatoes - which made their first appearance in Great Britain during this period, and were a novelty! Serve with steamed greens and assorted root vegetables. N.B. Oven temperatures were not given in my original posting of this recipe, but they have been added now! Also, the finely chopped herbs added at the end, gives the casserole a very "fresh" herby taste and a lovely colour - they MUST be very finely chopped however, and must NOT include the stalks, just the leaves - with the exception of the parsley.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes.
  2. Toss the meat in the flour combined with the spices and seasoning and add to the onion.
  3. Fry the meat, stirring occasionally until evenly browned.
  4. Stir in the red wine with the honey and continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring for a further minute.
  5. Add the dates and potato chunks and transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish.
  6. Cover and cook for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Just before serving stir in the fresh herbs.


Most Helpful

A truly outstanding recipe. I also used a humongous pork chop (I made 2 servings) cut into large chunks. I replaced the wine with chicken broth and I used dried apricots for the dates because I had apricots and I skipped the honey (or any added sweetening) to lower the sugars. I forgot to add the last herbs but the flavor had a ton of impact none the less. It's a rich, multi layered, symphony of spicy, sweet and savory and is marvelous. It was so good and complete that I can't imagine changing it from the way I made it. Oh yes, I used tiny Yukon Gold potato's because they are my favorites. Even with my changes I just can't stop raving. It was done in an hr and 15 mins on a slow simmer and I needed to add a bit of water once. The aroma is amazing and this would also be fantastic with chicken.

Annacia August 17, 2007

I was up for a change in pace for dinner so I decided to pick this recipe up. With your go ahead I used really thick cubed pork chops instead of pork leg. It took a lot less time for me to cook this dish, but it was most likely because of the cut of meat I used. Over all great flavor! I used regular honey found in grocery stores since I don't know what british honey is let alone have it lol. The mixture of potatoes and dates gave this dish an interesting but very good taste. I love nutmeg in my sweet dishes but was kinda leary about how I would take to it in savory, but some how the mixture of spicy and sweet really worked. Excellent recipe!

anme July 19, 2007

This was quite good but after the long cooking i couldn't taste any of the spices. The dates melt away to nothing so it turned out to be a very normal, slightly sweeter than usual casserole. Also for anyone else wondering, there's no oven temperature given so I baked mine at 150C for 2 hours and it turned out fine. I also forgot the chopped herbs at the end... they are mostly woody herbs so maybe they could go into the casserole at the beginning so they're not forgotten.

Heather Sullivan September 25, 2007

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