Ok, I’ve been delia-ed. This is a Delia recipe and it works a treat. This is what she sayz:
I’ve always loved Normandy and the abundance of recipes that include apples and cider. That said, the cider produced in my native Suffolk is what I always use, not to mention the apples. What does genuinely come from Normandy, however, is the crème fraiche – something that we in England can never replicate and whilst the half-fat version is not quite as luscious, it’s fab for cooking.
1 x 180 g jar Bramley apple sauce (Delia prefers Sainsbury’s one but I have used the Waitrose one)
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb (450 g) shoulder of pork
8 fl oz (225 ml) Aspall dry cider
2 fl oz (55 ml) Aspall cider vinegar
salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 rounded tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325ºF (170ºC). Cut the pork into 11/4 inch (3 cm) cubes. Then, heat the oil and butter in a 9½ inch (24 cm) shallow, ovenproof pan or casserole and cook the onion in it over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Then increase the heat and add the cubes of pork and stir over the heat for a couple of minutes. The pork doesn’t need to be browned, just lightly coloured.
Next, add the cider, cider vinegar and a generous seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Bring everything up to simmering point and then transfer the pan or casserole to the oven and cook, without a lid, for an hour, by which time the liquid will have reduced considerably.
Then, stir in contents of the jar of apple sauce and the crème fraîche and return to the oven, again without a lid, for a further 15 minutes. New potatoes with butter and chives and some spinach with a squeeze of lemon would be a nice accompaniment.
A recent find via the Telegraph recipes, a succulent dish of pork belly and aromatic ingredients such as star anise, chilli, ginger and garlic. I made it in the last throes of cold weather in the UK – it seemed to be a winter dish but the ginger lifts it to any season.
As it happens the cold, if sunny, spell continues so perhaps time to make it again.
1.5kg (3lb 5oz) pork belly, bones removed, rind on
125ml (4fl oz) dark soy sauce
75ml (2¾fl oz) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
25ml (¾fl oz) rice vinegar
2 tbsp soft light-brown sugar
5cm (2in) piece root ginger, peeled and finely sliced (I added twice that much as we love ginger!)
3 star anise
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced (as usual, I added one more chilli)
12 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal (I didn’t have spring onions so used one red onion finely chopped)
Cut the belly into chunks about 5cm (2in) square. Put in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Skim off any scum. Strain the pork , rinse the pan and put the pork back in. Add about 1.5 litres (2 pints 15fl oz) fresh water (or light chicken stock ), plus all the other ingredients, setting aside half the spring onions . Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, cover tightly and leave to cook very gently for two hours, or until the pork is completely tender. Make sure it doesn’t boil dry – add more water if you need to.
Scoop out the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the liquor by boiling until you have a good flavour. Return the pork to the liquid and heat through. Serve in bowls with the rest of the spring onions sprinkled over the top. Serve with noodles or boiled rice, plus some kind of stir-fried greens – cabbage or pak choi. I got a bag of vegetables from M&S, which I quickly stir-fried with some oyster sauce.
Update: I made it again and this time I reduced the liquor to a syrupy reduction. This turns the dish from nice to fantastic!
This is one of those dishes I make when I have bits of vegetables left in the fridge, a few peppers about to wilt, a carrot, bits of ginger, fresh chillis etc. It can take anything that is crunchy after stir-frying and the meat can be beef or pork. I use Ken Hom’s marinade from Chinese Cookery, which I don’t think would work that well with chicken.
Tonight I used what was in the fridge:
1 yellow pepper chopped into square chunks
1 small carrot roll cut
2 fresh red chilli finely chopped
1 1/2 inch fresh ginger finely chopped
1 large pork steak cut into strips
1 small onion sliced lengthways
1 clove garlic finelly chopped
handful of cashew nuts ideally roasted or dry-fried beforehand
(other ingredients I could have used from my cupboard – canned water chesnuts or bamboo shoots)
Cut the meat in narrow strips 1 1/2 inch long, mix well with the marinade and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Heat groundnut oil in a wok until smokes and flash fry chilli, garlic and ginger for a minute. Add meat and continue to fry it on high, for about 2-3 minutes or until you can’t see any raw or pink bits. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for another 2 minutes or longer – reaching the fine line between the meat being done and the vegetables still being crispy. If things look a bit dry, I add several squirts of catsup, the asian brown variety – I bought mine at local M&S and it’s called Kecap Manis (can’t find it anywhere online).
I normally serve this with basmati rice (Waitrose aromatic), adding turmeric to the boiling water for colour. I find jasmine tea to be the best drink accompanying chinese food in general.