2crisp dessert applescored and sliced into thick wedges (if they're too thin they'll disintegrate) - I use Jazz apples but Braeburn or Pink Lady are also great options.
80ml(⅓ cup) double (heavy) cream
6fresh sage leaves(optional)
1applecored and thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 170c/325f.
Add the 2 tbsp of oil to a large casserole pan and heat over a medium-high heat.
Add the chunks of pork and sprinkle over the ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Brown the pork on both sides - this should take about 5-6 minutes altogether.
Turn the heat down to medium and add in the diced onion and 12 button mushrooms that have been sliced in half. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens.
Add in the 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for a further minute.
Sprinkle over the 2 tbsps of flour and stir it all in to coat the meat, onion and mushrooms.
Pour in the 240ml (1 cup) of cider and the 420ml (1 ¾ cups) of chicken stock. Add in the ½ tsp of dried sage.
Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, scraping up any bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Place a lid on the dish and place in the oven for 90 minutes. Check a couple of times towards the end of cooking and add a splash of water or stock if it's starting to look a little dry.
Remove the casserole from the oven and add in the sliced apples and the 80ml (⅓ cup) of cream.
Stir together, place the lid back on the dish and place back in the oven for 25 minutes - until the apples are tender.
Remove from the oven and serve. I like to top mine with a few fresh sage leaves and some very thinly sliced apple for a bit of crunch. I love to serve this dish with mashed potatoes, cabbage and roasted radishes.
Can I make it ahead?Yes - make the casserole (including cooking with the cream and apples) then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days.Reheat in the oven, covered, at 175C/325F for 30-40 minutes until piping hot throughout. You may need to add a splash of stock to loosen the sauce.You could also reheat in a pan over a low-medium heat, stirring regularly for about 15 minutes, or until piping hot throughout.Can I freeze it?Yes - make the casserole, then cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as per the make-ahead instructions above.Can I make it in the slow cooker?Yes - cook in a large frying pan right up until it's ready to go in the oven, then instead of cooking in the oven, transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. After this time, add in the sliced apples and cook for a further hour (for high or low heat setting). Stir in the cream right before serving.If you don't want to mess around with adding apples in the last hour of cooking, you can add them as soon as you add everything to the slow cooker. The apples will be softer and may fall apart a little, but it's a little simpler and easier and will still taste great. The total cooking time in the slow cooker will be 4 hours on a high heat and 6 hours on low heat. I'd also serve with a very thinly sliced apple for garnish too - so you have a bit of crunch and good apple flavour in there.Ingredient swaps
Swap out the cider for dry apple juice
Add vegetables - such as baby carrots and/or courgette (zucchini) chunks. These can be added right before the dish goes in the oven.
Add green beans - at the same time you add the apple.
Add peas - just for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Swap out the cream for creme fraiche.
Add a teaspoon of dijon or wholegrain mustard for a little heat kick.
How to scale up and scale down this recipeYou can halve this recipe to serve two people. Use a small casserole pan. Halve all of the recipe quantities EXCEPT the stock - as the dish will dry out quicker using smaller quantities. Use around 360ml (1 ½ cups) of stock. Cook for the same amount of time as for the full recipe.You can double this recipe by doubling all of the ingredients. The frying of the pork and onions will take 10-15 minutes longer, but the rest of the timings will remain the same.Nutritional information is approximate, per serving, and does not include side dishes. This recipe serves 4 people.