- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 200g British free-range smoked bacon lardons
- 1.2kg well-trimmed, free-range pork shoulder, cut into 5cm pieces
- 400g small shallots, peeled (see food team’s tip)
- 55g butter, softened
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 450ml dry cider, plus an extra splash
- 450ml fresh chicken stock
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 3 large celery sticks, cut into chunky slices
- 30g plain flour
- 2 tbsp wholegrain dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp crème fraîche
- Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/ gas 3½. Put a large, flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat, add 1½ tablespoons of the oil, then the bacon lardons, and fry slowly until crisp and brown. Lift onto a plate using a slotted spoon.
- Heat the rest of the oil in the casserole and brown the pork in 2 batches, setting it aside with the bacon when ready. Put the shallots in the pan and fry until golden all over. Set aside with the pork and bacon.
- Put half the butter and the chopped onion in the pan, cover and cook for 10 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Return the pork and bacon to the pan, pour over the cider and stock, stir in the sage and bring to the boil, stirring now and then. Cover with foil and the lid, then transfer to the oven to cook for 1½hours.
- Stir the celery and shallots into the casserole, re-cover and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, by which time the meat and vegetables should be tender.
- Put the casserole on the hob, uncover it and bring to a simmer. Mix the remaining butter with the flour to make a smooth paste (known as a beurre manié). Stir in some paste and let it simmer and thicken, adding a little more if need be, until the casserole liquid has a good sauce consistency. (You might not need to use all the paste.) Stir in the mustard and crème fraîche, then simmer for 1-2 minutes more. Add an extra splash of cider just before serving.
- If peeling a lot of shallots, cover with boiled water in a heatproof bowl for 1-2 minutes. Cool under cold running water, then peel.
Debbie says; 'I serve this with baked potatoes and homegrown greens.'
- Make up to 48 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge. Bring up to room temperature before heating over a low-medium heat on the hob.
- A top West Country dry cider or a fruity white wine such as young Bordeaux blanc.