Friday, 2 December 2011
Pork and Apple Braise
Pork is the reason why I couldn't be a vegetarian. Sure, I like other meats too, the rare steak, the succulent chicken, the rosemary scented leg of lamb, but I could, if I had to, resist all three. However, if someone were to waft a bacon buttie underneath my nose whilst in a vegetarian state then I would weaken quite spectacularly. And bacon is not the only joy of the little piggy: I'm thinking crackling, layer of creamy fat, juicy meat, apple sauce and my return to my carnivorous state would be complete.
Now, the pork and apple thing makes me smile so much that when I saw this recipe I knew that I had to give it a whirl. It is from those clever chaps at GoodFood once again though I have made a couple of adjustments, the biggest being the choice of cut I went for. This can be a satisfying low fat dish if you choose pork loin and when I cook this in the future I may be of a mind to. However, I used pork steaks here, about 600g worth, mainly because they were on offer (I love a bargain!), they were organic, (mass produced pork is what it is, tasteless) and they had that lovely coating of fat that would crisp up when I initially browned the pork at the beginning of the dish. Yum, as they say.
Pork and Apple Braise
5 - 600g of pork loin, steaks or escalopes
1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil (though I used rapeseed)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
a small handful of parsley stalks, chopped finely (optional - but I like to use the stalks somehow when I am adding parsley leaves to the finished dish)
1 Cox's apple (or an apple that will maintain it's shape when cooked - I used a Gala) cored, cut into thin slices but skin left on
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Cut the pork into chunks or slices and coat in the seasoned flour. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a suitable pan and fry the pork in small batches. When the pork is browned, remove from the pan.
Fry the onion in the remaining oil until soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, then add the apples and parsley stalks, if using.
Fry the apples until beginning to colour slightly, then slowly stir in the stock, scraping up the lovely tasty bits from the bottom of the pan as you go.
Return the pork to the pan, then add the bay leaves and the mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or so. Add more stock or water if necessary. Stir in the parsley and season to taste before serving.
As I aim to please, I made roast potatoes to accompany this, especially for Lola, who would gladly eat them one after the other for as long as she was allowed to. I also served green beans, because I like 'em, lots!