Pork with apple and cider
A lovely creamy pork dish. You could also use diced pork fillet, just reduce the cooking time to one hour.
500g pork, shoulder or gigot, well trimmed and diced; one to two tablespoons of olive oil; one medium onion, finely chopped; one clove of garlic, finely chopped; one tablespoon of plain flour; 250ml dry cider; one large cooking apple, chopped; three tablespoons of cream; one bay leaf, and salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Garlic topping: 25g butter; one clove garlic, chopped; 50g breadcrumbs; grated rind of a lemon; one tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180C (350F ).
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the pork, a few pieces at a time, and brown well. Remove the meat as it browns to a shallow baking dish. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until softened. Then add the flour and cook for a minute or two. Add the cider, stirring all the time. Then add the apple, cream, bay leaf and seasoning. Pour the sauce over the pork in the baking dish. Cover with foil and cook in the preheated oven for approximately one and a half hours or until the pork is tender.
Meanwhile make up the topping. Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the garlic and breadcrumbs. Toss together for two to three minutes until crispy. Add the lemon rind, parsley and a little seasoning. Set aside.
When the pork is cooked, taste for seasoning.
Sprinkle the garlic topping over the pork and serve with mashed potatoes with a little wholegrain mustard mixed through them.
One kg fillet of beef, well trimmed; one tablespoon of olive oil; 75g butter; one small onion, finely chopped; two shallots, finely chopped; 350g mushrooms, finely chopped; salt and freshly-ground black pepper; a pinch of nutmeg; 500g store-bought puff pastry, defrosted if frozen; one egg, beaten.
Heat the oil and 50g of the butter in a small pan, add the onion and shallots and cook until transparent. Add the mushrooms, seasoning and nutmeg. Stir over a moderate heat until all moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan. Season the beef then brown it on all sides. This should take about five minutes. Allow to cool while you roll the pastry into an oblong shape, large enough to wrap around the beef. Spread the cold mushroom mixture over the pastry, leaving a two cm border all around. Moisten the edges with beaten egg. Place the cooled meat in the centre and wrap the pastry around it. Seal the edges and place on a baking tray, with the seal underneath. Use the pastry trimmings to make leaves for decoration, brush with a little egg and place on top of the parcel. Brush the parcel with the rest of the beaten egg.
Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the pastry to rest before baking. Then place in a preheated oven, gas mark 8, 230C (440F ). After 10 minutes turn the temperature down to gas mark 6, 200C (400F ) for a further 25 minutes. The beef will be medium rare at this stage. Cook for five minutes less is you like it rare.