Pork Braised with Celery and Lemon

11:21 pm on 29 June 2007

This delicious combination of flavours is Greek in origin. It includes the famous avgolemono sauce in which cooking juices are lightly thickened with egg and lemon juice just before serving. It takes about an hour to make.

You can also make this dish using a fresh pork hock instead of shoulder chops. This takes longer to cook, but has a wonderful succulent texture, similar to a lamb shank. Cook the hock in one piece for about an hour and a half, then remove from pot, discard the bone and skin and return the meat to the pot.

(Serves 2)


  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large shoulder chops(approx 400g), trimmed and diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • one and a half cups water
  • 4 large middle celery ribs, cut into diagonal slices
  • freshly chopped parsley and sliced spring onions


  • 1 level tablespoon butter
  • 1 level tablespoon flour
  • 1-1 and a half cups cooking liquid
  • 1 egg yolk
  • juice of 1 small lemon


Put the butter or oil in a heavy saucepan with the sliced onion. Fry gently until onion softens. Add pork and fry with the onions until the meat starts to brown. Season well with salt and pepper. Add water and bay leaf. Cover tightly Simmer very gently until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes, then add the celery and simmer for another 15 minutes until the celery is just tender and still green. Remove bay leaf.

To make the sauce, combine the butter and flour in a separate saucepan over low heat. Strain the cooking liquid from the pork and celery into the butter and flour mixture. Stir while you bring it to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes, adding a little more water if needed to make a thin sauce. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolk and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk in a little of the thickened sauce, then pour back into the saucepan. Check seasoning, adding more lemon juice, salt or pepper as needed. Pour the sauce over the meat and celery and add freshly chopped parsley and sliced spring onions.  Reheat gently and serve immediately. 

Serve with rice or mashed potato and buttered spinach or silver beet.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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