The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Perfect match: perry-braised bacon with pear and parsnip

You'll need

750 ml (3 cups) perry (see note) 60 ml (¼ cup) cider vinegar 110 gm (½ cup firmly packed) brown sugar 1 tsp cloves 1 kg piece of bacon, cut lengthways into thirds 400 gm (about 6) parsnips, peeled and halved lengthways 2 firm Packham pears, cut into wedges 200 gm peeled chestnuts (see note)   Lemon and nutmeg spinach 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 4 bunches (about 1.2 kg) English spinach, trimmed, washed 2 lemons, finely grated rind and juice only ¼ tsp finely ground fresh nutmeg


  • 01
  • Bring perry, vinegar, brown sugar and cloves to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until reduced to 2 cups (about 25 minutes). Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cool.
  • 02
  • Place bacon in a roasting pan, pour over reduction, turn to coat, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Remove foil from roasting pan and add parsnip, pear and chestnuts. Replace foil and roast for 35 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 220C and roast, basting frequently and turning pork halfway through cooking, until pork is golden (about 1 hour).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for lemon and nutmeg spinach, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, add spinach and lemon rind and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted (about 5-7 minutes). Season to taste with lemon juice, nutmeg, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve pork with roasted parsnips, pears and chestnuts and spinach to the side.

Note Perry is available from select liquor shops. If it's unavailable substitute with cider. Peeled chestnuts are available from Cheznuts. You will need to start this recipe a day ahead.

Ever since humans discovered the pleasantly mind-altering effects of alcohol, we've been busily fermenting almost every kind of fruit and vegetable we can get our hands on. Not surprisingly, strong regional links have developed between agricultural crops and their alcoholic drinks: grapes and wine in the warm, southern Mediterranean countries, apples and cider, pears and perry in the cooler north of Europe. Like cider, perry is an alcoholic, usually sparkling drink made by fermenting the juice of pears specifically grown for the purpose: smaller and sourer than pears intended for eating. It's typical of Britain's West Country and Wales and France's Normandy and Anjou. At its best, perry has the heady aromatic flavour of pears combined with a sometimes refreshingly tart juiciness that is a perfect foil for the salty, earthy, dense, sweet flavours in this warming, wintry dish. Perry is also a great match for soft, white-mould cheeses such as brie - especially if you serve the cheese with some nutty wholegrain bread and a few slices of chilled green pear on the side.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Apr 2008

You might also like...

Beef cheek recipes


Pave de boeuf with Roquefort sauce and gratin dauphinoise

A culinary Tour de France


Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Beef cheek recipes


Saltimbocca alla Romana

Piccata di vitello


Adana kofte

Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin


Pork chops with fennel

conversion tool

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.