Recipe

Cider-braised pork with apples

A classic combination,

  • 4 hrs cooking
  • Serves 8
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Apples lend a slightly sweet taste to braised pork roast. Fennel and coriander seeds add extra flavour for a truly delightful roast.
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Ingredients

  • 1.8 kilograms piece boneless pork neck, excess fat trimmed
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 leek (350g), white part only, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed lightly
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed lightly
  • 2⅔ cups (660ml) apple cider (see tips)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 pancetta, chopped finely
  • 4 medium red-skinned apples (600g), cut crossways into 1cm thick rounds

Method

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • 2
    Tie pork with kitchen string at 3cm intervals to form a compact shape; this helps the pork to cook evenly.
  • 3
    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 7 litre (28-cup) oval cast iron or other flameproof casserole dish (see tips) over medium-high heat; cook pork, turning, for 8 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a large tray.
  • 4
    Reduce heat to low, add leek to dish; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add crushed seeds; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return pork to dish with cider and bay leaves; bring to the boil. Cover dish with a tight-fitting lid; bake for 2 hours. Remove lid, turn pork; bake, uncovered, for a further 35 minutes or until pork is very tender.
  • 5
    Heat remaining oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add apples and ¾ cup (180ml) of the pork braising liquid; bring to the boil. Cook, rotating apples halfway during cooking, for 5 minutes or until apples brown and are heated through and braising liquid is reduced by half. Season to taste.
  • 6
    Cut pork into slices. Serve half the pork with half the apple mixture. Transfer remaining pork and apple mixture to an airtight container; cool, then store.

Notes

We used a 25cm x 33cm (10in x 13¼in) oval cast iron casserole. Alternatively, use a flameproof roasting pan; cover tightly with baking paper and two layers of foil in step 4. We used an alcoholic apple cider; use a non-alcoholic one, if you prefer.Serve with lyonnaise potatoes, or roast potatoes, and garlic beans , if you like. Refrigerate pork and apple mixture for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months; thaw
in the fridge, then reheat in a microwave.

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