Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pork, Apple and Cider Pie

pork, apple and cider pie

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang

There's something inherently special about Sundays. For me, it's a golden opportunity for a sleep in, and a nice time to relax before stepping in to the new week. In my perfect world, there would be a picnic lunch every Sunday in summer, either in the park or down at the beach, and a nice hearty lunch at home every Sunday in winter.

Sadly, the Sunday Lunch seems to be a forgotten ritual these days – I know I don't do it enough – but I think that makes them even more special when they do come around. Usually everyone helps with the cooking, and then sits down together to enjoy the meal. It’s really lovely.

I love the combination of pork and apples, but wanted to try something different from your usual roast, so I decided to make it into a pie. I simmered the pork shoulder with chicken stock and apple cider for about an hour, until it was falling apart, then added some sage, potato and apple. But the best part is, it’s actually really simple to prepare. In fact once the main prep work is done, you can leave it pretty much alone to simmer over a low heat, with just a stir here and there.

It’s a really great dish that is hearty but not heavy, thanks to the light flavour of the cider. It is just perfect for this end of winter weather, when spring has been playing hide-and-seek. But with my undying love of pulled pork, I would very happily eat it all year round.

pork, apple and cider pie

Pork, Apple and Cider Pie
Serves 6
Adapted from Donna Hay

• Olive oil, for frying
• 2.2kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5cm cubes (remove excess fat)
• 1 ½ brown onions, sliced
• 3 bottles dry apple cider (I used Monteiths)
• 2 cups chicken stock (I used Campbell’s Real Stock)
• 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
• 2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• Sea salt and cracked black pepper
• 3 granny smith apples, peeled, and chopped into 2cm cubes
• 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry
• 1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat, and add the pork. Cook in batches until browned (4-5 minutes). Remove pork and set aside.

Heat another 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown onion over medium heat or until softened. Return the pork to the pan with cider and stock. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 1 hour. Add the potato, sage, vinegar, salt and pepper and cool for a further 15-20 minutes or until the potato is tender and the pork is falling apart. Stir through the apples and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Spoon the pork mixture into a pie dish or ovenproof frying pan. Trim pastry to fit over the top and brush with lightly beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden.

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