Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pork Fillet with Lardons, Apple Rings and Cider

Ooh la la eh - this was actually an unplanned "what the hell am I going to make for dinner" recipe as there was literally nothing else in the fridge.  All the other suggestions that The Hubs made were frozen solid... Burgers - no, mince is in the freezer.  Chicken - no, we had that last night.  Steak - no, we had that the night before.

So, it was down to a solitary pork steak (Irish Pork, of course) from SuperValu, bought when it was very cheap indeed.  The last pork fillet was stuffed with a Feta and Mint mixture and baked.  It was gorgeous, but I wanted to try something else.  Seeing as we're off to France at the end of the month, I decided to cook a Normandy-inspired dish using the last bottle of cider from last year's trip to Tregastel, the apple rings from the Toffee Apple Cookie recipe and some lardons and onions.  Out came my beloved Le Creuset casserole dish and I was ready to go.  This recipe makes 3 servings - dinner a deux, and leftovers for me the next night

Pork Fillet with Lardons, Apple Rings & Cider

1 Pork Fillet, well trimmed and cut into two pieces (so it will fit into the casserole)
2 Onions, finely sliced
100g Lardons
1 glass of Cider
1 tsp dried Thyme
Handful of Dried Apple Rings
Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Olive Oil
2-3 tbsp Creme Fraiche
1 tbsp Grain Mustard
1 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

Heat the olive oil in the casserole dish on the hob & add the pork fillets.
Brown on all sides quickly and transfer to a plate.

Add the lardons to the casserole and cook until sizzling. 

Add the onions and cook for another 5 minutes.

Now add the cider and make sure that you scrape the bottom of the casserole to free up any burned bits - this is where the flavour is hiding...

Bring to the boil for 1 minute to burn off the alcohol, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the thyme, apple rings, stock, salt and pepper and stir well.

Return the pork to the casserole, put the lid on and either braise on the hob or in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking occasionally. 

When the pork has cooked through, remove it to rest for a few minutes before carving into slices.

While the pork is resting, reduce the cooking liquid so it thickens slightly and add the creme fraiche, mustard & parsley.

Sorry about the rubbish photo -
I had to physically restrain The Hubs from taking the plate before I took a pic!
Serve with mashed potatoes and green veg to soak up the sauce.

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