pork marinaded on a chopping board with herbs and lemon slices

They say happiness is homemade and this epic pork marinade is no exception. Its deep smoky flavours contrast beautifully with the hint of citrus and aniseed that all marry together beautifully when cooked to perfectly complement juicy, flavoursome pork.

Adapted from Cook with Jamie, this Texan-inspired version is super-easy to make yourself at home – all that’s required is a little forward planning to allow enough time for the flavours to really work into the meat. Give it a go and knock your guests’ socks off!


Birdseye image of ingredients for pork marinade

  1. Make your marinade the day before, or at least an hour before cooking. Start by bashing up 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and 2 cloves in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Add 1 heaped tablespoon sweet smoked paprika and the zest and juice of 1 orange and muddle it all together.
    Image of spices being added into the mortar and pestle
  3. Peel and very finely chop 4 cloves of garlic, then pick and very finely chop 1 small bunch of fresh thyme and add both to the pestle and mortar.
  4. Add 150ml quality tomato ketchup and 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, then combine.
  5. Lay 4 x 400g higher-welfare pork fillets on a tray and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon over most of the marinade and massage it into the fillets until they’re completely coated (save a little for brushing over during cooking to build up a deliciously sticky blackened glaze).
    Image of marinade being poured onto pork fillets
  6. Leave the mighty ingredients to work their magic for at least an hour, preferably overnight, then you’re ready to get cooking.
  7. Perfect served with a fresh mixed salad, spiced beans, corn on the cob or rice.


If you’re after more lip-smacking meat-coating inspiration, check out our ultimate steak marinade.


Barbecue, How to, Pork