Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tasties No.4

As the dark autumnal nights are drawing in, the wind tries to blow us off balance and the rain seems to never end all I want to eat is comfort food. The first thing that springs to mind is a delicious pie. This week, I'm sharing with you a pork, apple & cider pie recipe, but stay tuned in coming weeks for some deeper and richer pideas (hehe!).

Pork, Apple & Cider Pie

I'd recommend saving this recipe for the weekend as it needs a good couple of hours in order to ensure the pork melts in your mouth like butter.  You don't need to spend a fortune on your pork, I used Tesco Essentials Casserole Pork which was around £3.20ish for a portion big enough for four.

You'll need:
  • Olive oil
  • Around 500g of pork, cut into pieces. Shoulder is ideal or something that's designed to be casseroled or stewed, don't panic if the weight is a little less!
  • A little flour
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic gloves, sliced
  • One bottle of cider - mine was 568ml
  • 250ml of good chicken stock
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of  dried sage leaves
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • Ready made puff pastry
First things first, you need to heat up a little oil and start browning off your pork. I added a little flour as this will help to thicken up your sauce later on.  If you need to do this in batches, that's fine, just be sure to set it aside.
Once all the pork is browned, keep it to one side.  Reduce the heat in the pan, add a little more oil and start softening your garlic and onions.  This should take 3-4 minutes.  Return the pork to the pan and add the cider and the stock.
Give it a quick stir and ensure the mixture is simmering.  Now it's time to pop the lid on and leave it to cook for an hour.
After it's been simmering away for an hour, remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Then it's time to add your sweet potato and sage, stir, and cook for another 15 minutes uncovered. At the same time, stick the oven on at 200 degrees.  

Once the potato is a little tender turn off the heat, and add your apple.
Right, now it's time to sort out the pie lid.  I have a really quick and easy tip to ensure minimal pastry wastage and the perfect sized lid!
  1. Lightly oil the entire pie dish, including the rim
  2. Lay out your ready made puff on the side
  3. Flip the pie dish upside down so the top is now sitting on top of the pastry like the picture below.  As you've oiled the dish, it won't stick!
  4. Cut out your lid with a sharp knife and then remove the dish, make sure you keep the scraps, you'll see why.
Pour your finished pie filling into the pie dish and place your perfectly fitting pie lid on top being sure to squish down the edges a little to seal it.  I always pop a couple of small holes in the top as well and ensure the pie dish is on an oven tray in case of spillages.

I tried to get creative with my pastry left-overs and made a couple of leaves and placed these on top to make it look pretty.
Now, before you stick this beauty in the oven, you need to brush it with egg wash, you can make a simple one using one egg and a little single cream which has been mixed together.

It then needs to go into the oven for 20-25 minutes, and when it comes out, it'll look and smell incredible. The only trouble is serving it up in a graceful manner.
In case you are curious, with half of the filling missing (as Ad and I have scoffed it) it should look like the below.
Right, now it's your turn to give this a go, whilst it takes a little while to cook, I can assure you whilst your scoffing, it's like it's giving your tummy a great big hug.  Be sure to let me know how you get on.

This recipe was inspired by a pie recipe I'd read in the Waitrose Kitchen magazine, however, I had adapted this to suit my own tastes and budget.


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