One of my favourite things to do when I'm out food shopping is to have a good rummage through the Reduced to Clear areas of a supermarket. It's all the rage now but I've been doing it for years - nothing gladdens my heart more than a yellow sticker on something really useful. The advice of "shop after 5pm" for the best bargains isn't necessarily true - I've found some of my best buys at lunchtime or on a Saturday night. So why am I waffling on about frugality? Well, this casserole started with a packet of Stir Fry Pork Strips reduced from €4.50 to €2. It languished in my freezer for a few weeks but was liberated from the icy depths for a Sunday evening dinner - the posh ones amongst you might call it supper... I didn't have anything remotely stirfry-able in the fridge so I created a lovely casserole.
As I'm a teeny weeny bit lactose intolerant, I substituted the cream for crème fraiche which suits me better. They both work equally well and add a richness and creaminess to the finished dish. If you have lardons, feel free to fry them off with the pork for some piggy loveliness and if pork isn't your thing, use chicken. Either way, it will be delicious. This serves 4 with a pile of green veg or mash alongside. I apologise in advance for the lack of photos - I hadn't intended to write about this dish but somebody asked me for the recipe as soon as I posted the one and only photograph!
Normandy Pork Casserole with Cider and Cream
1 tbsp Oil
400g Pork, cut into strips
Salt & Pepper
2 Onions, in large chunks
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot gel
150g Baby Potatoes, halved
150g Mushrooms, wiped and trimmed
100g frozen Peas
1 tsp Cornflour, dissolved in 2 tsp water
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Cream or Crème Fraiche
1 tbsp Parsley, chopped
Preheat your oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6. Add the oil to a large casserole dish, heat on the hob on a low flame and add the pork, season with salt and pepper. Stir for 2-3 minutes until coloured.
Add the onions, carrots and garlic and fry for another 3-4 minutes until the onions start to soften and you can smell the garlic. Now add the cider and the stock and stir well until the stock has dissolved. Add the mushrooms and potatoes, stir well and put the lid on top.
Place the casserole in the oven for 45 minutes and go off and read the papers.
Remove the casserole from the oven, check the potatoes are cooked and put back onto the hob on a low flame.
Pour the dissolved cornflour into the casserole and stir well, Now add the mustard and cream. Simmer for 2 minutes, add the parsley and turn off the heat. Dinner is served.