Diced pork is a sometimes overlooked ingredient that is incredibly versatile and can be either cooked hot and fast skewered on a grill or longer and slower as in this recipe. Being mild in flavour and quite lean it carries other flavours well, either subtle or strong.
This recipe makes use of this cheap cut as well as seasonal British vegetables, a real comfort food to warm you from the inside.
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
500g Ethical Butcher soy free diced pork
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp celery salt
1 onion - peeled and chopped
12 baby mushrooms - chopped in half
2 carrots - peeled and chopped
250 ml dry cider organic and British
1 bottle of Spring Broth chicken stock
½ tsp dried thyme
150g Ethical Butcher streaky bacon
1 tbsp cornflour cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp cold water
60 ml double (heavy) cream - Organic if possible
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Steamed kale or other green veg
Preheat the oven to 170C
Heat 1 ½ tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large casserole dish until hot.
Add the pork, salt, pepper and celery salt and brown on all sides - it should take around 6-8 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium and add in the onion. Cooked for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion softens.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes, then add the carrots, cider, stock and dried thyme.
Turn up the heat and bring to the boil.
Stir and scrape up any bits than may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Place a lid on the pan, and place in the oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours*, until the pork flakes apart when you press it with a fork.
Check a couple of times during the last hour of cooking and add a splash of water or stock if it's starting to look a little dry.
Just before the casserole comes out of the oven, heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon lardons until crispy.
Turn off the heat.
Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken, then stir in the cream.
Taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle on the bacon lardons.
Serve with green veg on top of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on a little chopped parsley before serving.