Pork and root vegetable casserole with fennel and mustard dumplings
- March 2017
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 3 hours 30 min
Pork is slow-cooked until succulent with cider, apples and root vegetables to make a rich, hearty stew, then topped with light dumplings for a truly comforting dinner.
- 22.7g (6.8g saturated)
- 52.2g (14.5g sugars)
- Plain flour for dusting
- 1.2kg British free-range pork shoulder, cut into 3cm pieces
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 200g shallots, halved
- 300g parsnips, cut into 3cm pieces
- 300g carrots, cut into 3cm pieces
- 500g maris piper potatoes, cut into 3cm pieces
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500ml dry cider
- 500ml chicken stock (we like Knorr)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 small red eating apples, cored and quartered
- Small bunch fresh tarragon, chopped, plus extra to serve
For the dumplings
- 150g self-raising flour, plus extra
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan, then ground in a pestle and mortar
- 100g greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Put the plain flour in a shallow bowl and season. Dust the pork in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat a glug of oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat and brown the meat for 5 minutes until golden (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer to a plate.
- Heat a little more oil in the casserole and fry the shallots for 5-7 minutes. Add the veg and lardons, then fry for 3-5 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
- Return the pork to the casserole, along with 450ml of the cider, the stock, mustard and bay leaves. Season, then cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hours, stirring every now and then. Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes more. Add the apples and tarragon and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Once you’ve added the apples to the casserole, make the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and ground fennel seeds with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. In a separate small bowl mix the greek yogurt and mustard, then mix into the flour. With floured hands, divide the mixture into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls. Handle the dough gently or the dumplings will be heavy.
- Turn the oven up to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Put the dumplings on top of the casserole, re-cover and cook for 15 minutes until the dumplings have puffed and the apples are soft. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the rest of the cider and scatter with a little tarragon. Serve with greens.
Make the casserole to the end of step 3, then cool, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Warm thoroughly in a low oven, then continue the recipe from step 4.
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