This is a very simple casserole, good for the approaching autumn. Pork, apples, cream and sage all have a natural affinity and with fluffy mashed potatoes this is a really comforting dinner.
Feeds 2 hungry people
About 300g diced pork.
About 250ml cider – alcoholic or non alcoholic, your choice. But don’t use sweetened apple juice.
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
About 3 tbsp cream – I used single cream. If you’re feeling low-fat you can use low-fat creme fraiche.
Sage – either about 1/2 tsp dried or 3 or 4 fresh leaves.
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to about 160C/320F. You don’t want it too hot or the pork will dry up.
First, do your prep. Peel and chop the onion and carrots. Do it quite chunky, this is a chunky kind of dish. Heat the oil up in a casserole dish on the hob (stovetop) on a medium heat and when it’s hot chuck in the onion and carrots. Fry them, stirring occasionally for 5 or so minutes until the onion is soft but not brown.
Throw in the diced pork and turn up the heat a bit and fry it for a couple of minutes. You don’t need it to brown and cook through, you’re just searing it. Add the salt, pepper and sage and pour over the cider and bring it up to a simmer. The liquid should be just up to the top of the ingredients – if it’s not then add some water or pour some out. Put the casserole dish in the oven (without a lid).
Now go and have a cup of tea and watch Corrie (for my Americanadian friends read: have a cup of coffee and watch… Day of Our Lives?). Stir the casserole after about 15 minutes so – the liquid should be simmering gently and have reduced a bit. Leave it alone for another 15 minutes and then stir it again, to stop the pork drying out. If you’re having it with mash, put the potatoes on now.
When the potatoes are almost done (or after another 20-ish minutes), add the cream to the casserole. Stir and return to the oven for 5 or 10 minutes (while you finish off the potatoes).
And that’s it, it’s ready to eat.