Braised Pork in Cider

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What it says on the tin. To feed four, you will need:

  • 750g pork shoulder (or something fatty, sinewy and interesting)
  • 750g baby potatoes
  • 500mL of cider (you could use a light sweetish ale, if you prefer)
  • a handful of fresh sage leaves (or thyme)
  • half a teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • salt, pepper
  • 60mL cream

Here’s what you do.

  1. Chop up the pork into 3cm pieces, doesn’t need to be particularly neat and leave the fat attached.
  2. Halve the potatoes lengthways – if there are any large ones chop them in four. (Baby potatoes have delicate skins, so no need to peel.)
  3. Wash and pull the stalks off the sage leaves; I ended up with about 10g of leaves. (I don’t think dried sage will work.)
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  4. Place everything in a shallow casserole, add the fennel, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour over enough of the cider so everything is half submerged, you’ll probably need most, but not all of your 500mL.s-DSC01704
  6. Pop into a pre-heated oven on Gas 5, around 180°C, or 160°C if using a fan oven, what you’re aiming for is a gentle bubbling in the liquid around the very edges of the pot. Turn the oven down if this becomes too furious.
  7. Give everything a stir from time to time, so the meat and spuds are browned all over.
  8. It will need around two hours; less if everything is in a single layer. Start checking after ninety minutes: the pieces of pork will fall apart quite easily when they’re done. Note that a fan oven may cook things faster than this, so watch out. The liquid will reduce, and you’ll end up with less than a centimetre at the bottom when done, but if looks like drying out, top up with water from a freshly boiled kettle, and again, consider reducing the temperature.
  9. Stir in the cream just before serving.

Serve with something wintery, like kale.

And plenty of beer.


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