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Slow Cooked Pork Casserole

Servings:
4
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cooking Time:
3 hours 20 mins
  • Ingredients
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 500g (1.1 pounds) diced pork
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
    • ¼ tsp celery salt (optional – I find it adds a nice savoury flavour)
    • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
    • 12 baby mushrooms, chopped in half
    • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 250ml (1 cup) dry cider (usually gluten free, but best to check)
    • 420ml (1¾ cups) chicken or vegetable stock (water plus 2 stock cubes is fine, or use 2 tsp bouillon for gluten free)
    • ½ tsp dried thyme
    • 150g (1/2 cup) bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
    • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 3 tbsp cold water
    • 60ml (1/4 cup) double (heavy) cream
    • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
    To Serve:
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Steamed kale or other green veg
    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 170c/325f.
    2. Heat 1½ 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.
    3. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the onion. Cooked for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion softens.
    4. 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 2½ 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Serve with green veg on top of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on a little chopped parsley before serving.
    Notes
    * You could also transfer to a slow cooker at this point and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on medium.

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