Normandy Pork Casserole – a real winter warmer that’s easy to prepare

Normandy Pork Casserole

This is an easy one pot recipe that goes down a storm and so I’ve chosen it as the main dish for an upcoming supper party. I know from experience that this melt in the mouth casserole (a recipe I edited slightly from one I found in Woman & Home magazine) will sit in the oven for ages without spoiling, so I can be as relaxed as hopefully our guests will be…

NORMANDY PORK CASSEROLE

Ingredients  serves 10 (easily halved if there are 4 – 6 of you eating)

100g butter
Olive oil
2kg shoulder of free-range 
British pork, cubed
400g (14oz) lardons or chunky streaky bacon, chopped
32 shallots, peeled and left whole
2 small onion, chopped
4 celery sticks, chopped
1 litre dry cider
200ml chicken stock
8 tbsp single cream
4tbsp cornflour mixed with 2tbsp water
4tbsp wholegrain mustard
4tbsp fresh tarragon leaves

How to prepare/serve

Heat the oven to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3.

You will need a large, flameproof casserole dish. Put half butter and drizzle of olive oil (to stop butter burning) with half the cubed pork, season and fry for about 10 minutes until thoroughly browned. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the rest of the butter to the casserole and fry the rest of the pork for 10 minutes until evenly browned.

Meanwhile, in another pan, dry-fry the bacon until crispy. Remove, set aside, then fry the shallots, onion and celery for a few minutes, to soften slightly.

Combine all the pork, the lardons, shallots, onion and celery in the casserole. Pour over the cider and chicken stock to cover. Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the pork is tender.

Add the cream, cornflour mix, mustard and tarragon to the pan. Heat on the hob and stir until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Serve with baked potatoes and a lovely dark green steamed vegetable like cavolo nero or purple sprouting broccoli.

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