Shakespeare’s Codpiece Recipe

Shakespeare’s Codpiece Recipe

A filo pastry parcel filled with spicy pulled pork

Photo: Joe Sarah

Serves 4


  • For the pulled pork:
  • 2kg pork shoulder
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 bulb of garlic, halved
  • 500ml cider
  • To be mixed with the pork:
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3cm thumb of fresh root ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pulled pork from above
  • 200ml of cooking juices from above
  • 150g flaked almonds, toasted, roughly crushed
  • 16 sheets of filo pastry
  • 80g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • Few sprigs of parsley and sage, chopped
  • For dusting:
  • Icing sugar and paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C
  2. For the pulled pork: start by putting the pork roughly cut onions and the garlic cloves into a large roasting tray.
  3. Bash the pepper, salt, cloves, cinnamon, ginger in a pestle and mortar then rub the mixture into the pork.
  4. Pour the cider into the tray, being careful not to wash off your rub mixture.
  5. Cover with foil shiny side down and place into the oven to roast for three hours.
  6. Remove the foil. Roast for another hour.
  7. Allow to rest for 15 minutes or so.
  8. 'Pull' the pork by shredding it into small pieces with a fork. Set aside with the juices.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  10. To make the pork filling: heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions for 6-8 minutes until softened and slightly golden.
  11. Stir in the ginger, cloves and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Add the pulled pork to the pan along with 200ml of cooking juices.
  12. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour. Add more water if the mixture looks dry.
  13. Add the finely chopped sage, parsley and almonds to the pan and cook over a gentle heat for 4-5 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  14. To assemble: lay 2 sheets of filo and brush with melted butter add another 2 sheets and brush again. Spoon a quarter of the filling into the centre. Fold the overhanging pastry on top and brush with more melted butter. Shape into a codpiece shape. Place on a baking tray.
  15. Bake in the oven on a heavy metal tray or baking stone for 25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  16. Sprinkle with icing sugar and paprika and serve warm.

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