This plus size model of days gone by afternoon cooking will generate a buzz when it struts on your party’s table runner. Fruit and pork are great together, and in our recipe the only thing separating them is a ring of rice. Old school fruit compote is cooked with a little rice in it to thicken it better, and the sausage and cubed stewing pork is slow simmered in Madeira, stock, herbs, and blackberry jam until faintly sweet and distinctly savory. It’s busy; it’s delicious; it’s old school; it’s worth it.


For the Fruit Compote

1 cup golden raisins

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried dates

14 ounce can red, tart pitted cherries

1 8 ounce can pineapples, chopped and drained, retain juice

2 cups sweet potatoes, cut in about 1 inch square pieces (this will be about 1 large sweet potato)

¾ cup red onion, diced

1½ tsp Delta Belle

or Missimati Frgrant Rice Flour

1 tsp allspice

2 tbsp butter

½ cup sorghum

½ cup brandy

Lemon zest from ½ lemon

½ cup blackberry jam (from your mother’s cupboard)

For the Blackberry Curried Pork

1 pound stewing pork, cut in about 1 inch cubes

1 pound small diameter smoked sausage (such as Mississippi’s Country Pleasin’ Juniors or Alabama’s Conecuh)

Cooking oil

Ground black pepper, to taste

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 8 ounce jar roasted sweet red peppers, chopped

2 cups chicken broth

¾ cup Madeira

1 tsp cumin, fresh ground

1½ tbsp thyme, chopped fine

2 tsp curry powder

2 tsp mace, ground

1 cup blackberry jam

4 ounces mushrooms, chopped

3 tbsp capers

2 tbsp rice flour

½ cup sour cream

For the Rice Ring

1 ¾ cup uncooked Delta Belle or Missimati Bayou Bouquet Fragrant White Rice

3 cups water

Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)

1 tbsp cooking oil

1 tbsp Herbes de Provence


 For the Blackberry Curried Pork

 In large skillet, heat oil and add stewing pork.  Season with ground black pepper and brown meat on all sides.  Add sausage, onion, and thyme to pork and fry until sausage cooked through.  Add the roasted peppers, broth, Madeira, cumin, curry powder, and mace.  Blend well, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

  Remove lid and stir.  Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.Blend rice flour with ¼ cup water, add to meat and blend well.  Add mushrooms, capers, and sour cream, blend well and simmer with no lid for 30 minutes.   Broth sauce should have medium consistency.  Set aside when finished.

 For the Rice Ring (If one has no ring, one can use other molds, such as a bread pan)

  In large saucepan, heat oil, add rice and swirl in pan to coat, then add water, lemon juice, and Herbes de Provence.  Bring to boil, and reduce to simmer and

cover with tight fitting lid.  Cook for 15 minutes, check for doneness, and if finished fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

For the Fruit Compote

   Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

     In medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add raisins, cranberries, dates, red onion, allspice, sorghum, and brandy.  Stir and simmer for 20 minutes

      Peel and cube sweet potatoes in about 1 inch cubes.  Lightly coat with olive oil and bake until just tender, but firm.  Remove and set aside.

    To the fruit add pineapples, apple, cherries, and lemon zest.  Add about ¼ cup of the retained pineapple juice to the rice flour, mix well, and blend into fruit.  

Simmer for 20 minutes.  Liquid should slightly thicken to a thin syrup consistency.

     Add sweet potatoes and blackberry jam, blend well and simmer for 5 minutes.  Set aside.

To Assemble

 Spray inside of rice mold with non stick spray.  Fill with rice packed fairly loosely.  Place the serving platter you intend to serve on centered atop the mold. 

With care, invert.  Gently pick up mold, tapping lightly with spoon to shake contents loose if necessary.  Rice ring should be formed with clean lines.  If failure, repeat.

    Fill center of rice ring with ½ of fruit.  Next, gently spoon the pork into position outside of rice ring.  Next, spoon more compote into center of rice ring until about 1 inch from the top of rice. (If using another mold, be imaginative about placement of fruit compote and pork.)  Enjoy!