Make-ahead pork, pear and sherry casserole

Make-ahead pork, pear and sherry casserole
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, simmering time 2 hours 45 min

A warming one pot recipe to combat cold winter evenings, try this slow-cooked pork, pear and sherry casserole for a proper dose of comfort food – you won’t regret it.

If you like this, you’ll love our Dorset pork and cider casserole recipe.

Nutrition: For 6

Calories
479kcals
Fat
13.3g (4g saturated)
Protein
62.5g
Carbohydrates
19.1g (9.4g sugars)
Fibre
5.4g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
479kcals
Fat
13.3g (4g saturated)
Protein
62.5g
Carbohydrates
19.1g (9.4g sugars)
Fibre
5.4g
Salt
0.8g

Ingredients

  • 40g dried porcini mushrooms
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1.5kg British free-range pork shoulder, cut into 5cm chunks
  • 250g mixed wild mushrooms, torn or sliced
  • 2 pears, cored and cut into thin wedges
  • 300g baby shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 500ml chicken stock, hot
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 125ml dry sherry, plus a splash
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Small handful fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs, toasted in a dry pan – or use a 25g pack flavoured breadcrumbs (optional)

You’ll also need…

  • Heavy-based casserole with lid

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Put the dried porcini in a heatproof bowl, pour over 250ml freshly boiled water, then set aside
  2. Heat a splash of oil in a large heavy-based casserole and brown the pork chunks, a few at a time. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and repeat until all the pork has been browned.
  3. Add the fresh mushrooms to the casserole, then fry for 4-5 minutes until just softening and golden on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the pear wedges and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden, then put on the plate with the fried mushrooms.
  4. Put the shallots and leeks in the casserole and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft and golden. Transfer to the bowl with the pork. Keep the casserole to hand.
  5. Put the hot stock in a jug if it isn’t already, set a sieve over the jug, then strain in the mushroom liquid (discard any grit left in the sieve). Set aside the rehydrated mushrooms.
  6. Stir the flour into the fat in the casserole (or add a splash of oil if the pan is a little dry) and cook until smelling toasty, then pour in the sherry and mix to make a paste, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan for extra flavour; cook for about 2 minutes.
  7. Gradually stir in the stock to make a smooth sauce, season generously with salt and pepper, then stir in the rehydrated mushrooms, pork, shallots, leeks and any resting juices. Bring up to a simmer, cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours or until the pork is tender (see tip).
  8. Add most of the fried mushrooms and pear wedges to the casserole and return the pot to the oven, uncovered, for 15-30 minutes to thicken the sauce. To serve, stir in the mustard and a splash more sherry, top with the reserved pear slices and mushrooms, and sprinkle with the tarragon, breadcrumbs (if using) and a good grind of black pepper (see Make Ahead). This casserole tastes great with creamy mashed potatoes.

delicious. tips

  1. If you’re short of oven space, cook this casserole on the hob, giving it a stir every so often to prevent it catching on the base of the pan.

  2. To freeze, cool, then put in an airtight container (freeze in batches if you want to). Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat until piping hot.

  3. A soft burgundy, such as a mâcon-vilages.

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