This dish can be found all over Italy with many variations. Here Stefano takes advantage of the sweetness of dates and dried mandarin peel for a floral finish.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (14 votes)


  • 1 kg boneless pork shoulder
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cm dried mandarin peel
  • 3 cm lemon peel
  • 6 pitted dates
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 litre milk
  • 2 cups yellow polenta

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Chop pork into very large chunks.
  2. Combine flour and salt to season in a bowl. Roll each piece of pork in the mix until evenly coated and shake off excess.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat then sear the pork pieces until they are brown all over. Add onions to the pan and cook until they begin to caramelise.
  4. Once caramelised, add mandarin skins, lemon and dates to the pan. Season with a bit of pepper. Gently add in milk, saffron and salt to taste.
  5. Place a lid on the pot and cook for around 90 minutes (or until the pork is falling apart).
  6. For the polenta, bring a large saucepan of water and a generous amount of salt to the boil. Pour the polenta slowly into the boiling water, stirring constantly until all the polenta is added and there are no lumps.
  7. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often for 5 minutes or until the polenta starts to thicken.


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