Monday, March 30, 2009

A is for apples

**Health warning - convoluted paragraph approaching** First let me explain that this in an idea that I've been fiddling with for a while now ... I have been equally inspired by an American Blogger who has lived for years in the Aveyron (and a French blogger who now lives in the US that Mrs America in the Aveyron reads!) Of course this immediately struck a chord with me because my parents live in the Lot (read just next door to Mrs A in the A) and in fact when I fly to see them I fly into Rodez (Aveyron), which is in fact just up the road from a quaint, dodgy-Broadband suffering, French commune containing a small dwelling - with a new & fab soon to be visited patio - that they call Chez le Laquet!

Anyway, back to the whole point of this ... welcome to my A to Z of Food and today A is for Apples! I have to admit that I am ambivalent about apples - I can love and loathe them on the same day. None of the "apples are my favourite" days of my brother's childrhood - I'd have preferred a handful of grapes or cherries. None of the "Lidl didn't have Pink Ladys only Jonagolds, so I walked 3 miles in the snow to Waitrose to get some" zeal of my mother-in-law - who knew that there were crossed apples? That a Lady William crossed with a Golden Delicious gave you a Pink Lady - and for that matter, who cared?? And don't even get me started on the nasty sweet muck they call apple juice - bleugh!
All through childhood apple pie and apple strudel were turned down in favour of pretty much anything. Scrumping in neighbour's gardens - I was too scared of getting caught. Baked apples - not a chance. Until finally, someone thought to introduce me to the joy of Normandy Pork!
Saint Delia's Normandy Pork (with Jo's twist)
100g apple sauce
1 apple*, chopped
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb (450 g) shoulder of pork
8 fl oz (225 ml) dry cider
2 fl oz (55 ml) cider vinegar
salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 rounded tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3 (170ºC).
First of all, cut the pork into 11/4 inch (3 cm) cubes. Then, heat the oil and butter in a 9½ inch (24 cm) shallow, ovenproof pan or casserole and cook the onion and in it over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Then increase the heat and add the cubes of pork and stir over the heat for a couple of minutes. The pork doesn’t need to be browned, just lightly coloured.
Next, add the apple, then the cider, cider vinegar and a generous seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Bring everything up to simmering point and then transfer the pan or casserole to the oven and cook, without a lid, for an hour, by which time the liquid will have reduced considerably.
Then, stir the apple sauce and the crème fraîche and return to the oven, again without a lid, for a further 15 minutes.
That's tonight's dinner sorted then - photo to follow :o)
* You know by this point that I don't really mind what kind it is - my M.I.L. on the other hand would be most specific!


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

There is absolutely nothing better than pork with apples! Yay for Saint Delia - and St Jo!
Love apple strudel and apple crumble and once tasted the most heavenly apple pie with custard inside - but apples, we-ell, yep, I'm with you!

Fi said...

I love apples - it's prime apple season here at the moment and I've got some lovely not-quite ripe Golden Delicious to eat.

And there's nothing like a nice drop of cold cider after a day slaving in a hot garden.

Hope Saint Delia's Normandy Pork was as delish as it sounds :)

Pierce said...

I have an apple cookbook. No shit. It has recipes from desserts to things like cooking apples with prok, like your lovely recipe. Cool! I look forward to the letter B.