Slow-Cooked Hand Of Pork With Pearl Barley Risotto, Watercress Pesto And Red Wine Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Watercress.

Fancy trying some Slow-Cooked Hand of Pork with Pearl Barley Risotto, Watercress Pesto and Red Wine Sauce?

Another great dish for sharing.

Made with pearl barley, juniper berries and other autumnal treats it’s a warming, satisfying meal that successfully combines health with comfort!

Slow-Cooked Hand of Pork

How To Make Slow-Cooked Hand Of Pork With Pearl Barley Risotto, Watercress Pesto And Red Wine Sauce:

Serves 6

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours

For The Pork:

  • 1 hand of pork (or pork shoulder). Also known as the hand and spring, the hand is the lower bit of the shoulder, on the bone.
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • Salt

For The Pesto:

  • 65g watercress, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic,
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 50-75ml olive oil
  • 50g finely grated Parmesan

For The Red Wine Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 banana shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 600ml red wine
  • 600ml beef stock
  • ½ tbsp cold butter

For The Risotto:

  • 400g pearl barley
  • 2 banana shallots, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cold butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1-litre chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • Large handful watercress
  • Salt and black pepper
Slow-Cooked Hand of Pork


  1. Preheat the oven to 150®C. Place the bay leaves and peppercorns in the bottom of a casserole dish or roasting tray large enough for the pork. Place the pork on top, skin side up. Pour over the cider vinegar and 100ml of water. Put into the oven and slow-roast for 2.5-3 hours, checking every hour and adding more water if necessary.
  2. While the pork is in the oven, prepare the pesto and red wine sauce. For the pesto, place the watercress, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor and puree. Drizzle in the olive oil, pulsing for a few seconds at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Pour into a bowl and season to taste.
  3. For the red wine sauce, sauté the carrot and shallots with the oil over a high heat for about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and thyme and continue cooking for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the vinegar and reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add the red wine and cook until reduced by two thirds. Pour in the beef stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by two thirds again, leaving around 350ml. Remove the garlic and thyme, season to taste and whisk in the cold butter.
  4. When the pork is falling away from the bone, remove from the oven and take off the skin. Leave to rest for 40 minutes covered with foil.
  5. While the meat rests, make the risotto. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat half the butter and the oil. Sauté the shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt for about five minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the barley and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour in the white wine and stir until completely absorbed by the barley. Pour over ¾ of the chicken stock and simmer on low for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender, stirring occasionally and topping up with chicken stock if required.
  7. Remove risotto from the heat, stir in the parmesan, fresh watercress and the rest of the butter. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  8. To serve, ladle the risotto into large bowls. Drizzle with watercress pesto, top with the shredded pork and finish with red wine sauce.
Slow-Cooked Hand of Pork

Slow-Cooked Hand Of Pork With Pearl Barley Risotto, Watercress Pesto And Red Wine Sauce Recipe c/o: Give yourself a hygge this Autumn and enjoy these delicious, heart-warming recipes. For these and other inspiring recipe ideas, visit Watercress. recipe photography credited: Lara Jane Thorpe.

What do you think of this Slow-Cooked Hand Of Pork With Pearl Barley Risotto, Watercress Pesto And Red Wine Sauce recipe?

You might also like to try these Watercress Recipes:

Roasted Broccoli And Cauliflower With Puy Lentils, Halloumi And Watercress.

Indonesian Gado Gado Salad With Crunchy Tiger Prawns And Selada Air.

Roast Chicken And Wild Mushroom Watercress Salad With Pine Nuts And Raisins.

Dreaming Of Summer? Try A Moroccan Couscous Salad With Feta Parcels, Watercress And Harissa Yoghurt.

Slow-Cooked Hand of Pork

Claire Justine
Claire Justine

Hi, I am Claire and I created Claire Justine in 2011. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

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  1. Miz Helen
    7 November 2017 / 15:18

    This looks amazing, we will love your recipe! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a good week and come back to see us real soon!Miz Helen

  2. Debbie Roberts - Debs Random Writings
    4 November 2017 / 15:21

    Hi Claire, this looks like a proper dinner party meal. I often use barley instead of rice, I love the taste. The trifle would make a perfect pudding for this.xx

    • 9 November 2017 / 17:31

      Thanks for stopping by Debbie 🙂

  3. Debbie
    2 November 2017 / 22:22

    This looks delicious Claire! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe with us.

    • 9 November 2017 / 16:41

      Thanks for stopping by Debbie 🙂