Casseroles are classic winter comfort food dishes, cooked low and slow. Many casserole recipes use thrifty, tough cuts of meats such as beef cheek, pork belly or lamb shoulder, which break down during the cooking process and give you a sublime finish for very little money. It’s important to envelope your ingredients, whether it’s meat or root vegetables, in stock or water to allow the dish to gently simmer away.
- Sunflower oil or dripping for frying
- 3 or 4 onions, sliced
- 1kg pork shoulder or collar, diced
- 8-10 sage leaves
- 6 apples peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 heaped tbsp flour
- Salt & black pepper
- 1 dspn of English or French mustard
- 1/2 pint pork stock
- 1 bottle of cider
- Fry sliced onions and garlic until lightbrown, remove from pan and keep warm.
- Brown off the pork in the same pan until there is a bit of colour on it, but not too much or it will become dry and chewy.
- Add the onions and garlic back to pork.
- Add sage, half the apples, flour and seasoning, then mix together.
- Add in pork stock and cider slowly to incorporate the flour.
- Let it come to the boil briefly. Cover with tin foil and/ or lid and put into the oven at 170 degrees/150 fan Mk 3, to let it cook gently.
- After 1 1/2 hours, take out and add remaining apples, check seasoning and whether tender.
- Give it another ten or fifteen minutes and serve.
- Or let it cool down after ten minutes and refrigerate to enjoy at its best a day or two later. It also freezes well
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