Cider and Pork Casserole

518_Cider and Pork Casserole

Put pork and cider together with a little mustard and cream and you have a delicious, lovely and light casserole.

This Cider and Pork casserole is very easy to make and makes a lovely lunch dish, or main course for dinner or an alternative Sunday Lunch. Serve with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes, delicious.

Feel free to change the herbs in this dish. The addition of a hefty dose of French tarragon as this balances very well with the punch of the cider and the bite of the mustard. If you wish to add your favourite herb please read the notes at the end of the recipe.

Ingredients
2oz/55g/ ½ stick butter
2lb 10oz/1.2kg shoulder of pork, cut into large cubes
7oz/200g thick streaky bacon, chopped roughly
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
12 shallots, peeled and left whole
3/4 pint/350ml dry cider (use apple juice for a non-alcoholic version)
3/4 pint/ 350ml chicken stock
2 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp French tarragon leaves, chopped
(*** read the notes about herbs at the end of the recipe)
4 fl oz/ 125ml creme fraiche (or use sour cream if not available)

Procedure

[1] Heat the oven to 325°F/170°C/Gas 3

[2] Heat a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add half of the butter and heat to foaming, add the cubed pork and fry for 10 minutes until golden and brown, stirring from time to time. Take care not to burn. Remove the cooked pork and repeat with the remaining butter and pork.

[3] Heat a frying pan until hot and dry fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and keep to one side. Fry the onion, celery and shallots in the same pan until slightly soft.

[4] Place all the vegetables, bacon and pork into the casserole. Add the cider and stock, bring to a gentle simmer on the stove top then cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 2 hours or until the pork is tender. Check from time to time to make sure the liquid hasn’t dried out. When cooked remove from the oven.

[5] Mix the cornfour/ starch with the water to form a thick paste. Add the paste plus the mustard, tarragon and creme fraiche to the casserole dish and stir thoroughly. Gently cook on the stove top until the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve.

*** The casserole is flavoured with tarragon, again a lovely combination with pork, use the soft flavoured French tarragon or the dish will be overpowered. You can substitute with your favourite herb though if using stronger herbs you may want to reduce the quantity, especially sage or rosemary as these again, would overpower the dish.