Pork In Cider With Dumplings
Pork and fruit are a perfect combination. If you dont want to make dumplings, serve creamy mashed potatoes instead.
115g / 4oz / 1/2 cup pitted prunes, roughly chopped
115g / 4oz / 1/2 cup ready to eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
300ml / 1/2 pint / 1 1/4 cups dry (hard) cider
30ml / 2 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
675g / 1 1/2 lb lean boneless pork, cut into cubes
30ml / 2 tbsp vegetable oil
350g / 12oz onions, roughly chopped
475ml / 16fl oz / 2 cups stock
12 juniper berries, lightly crushed
30ml / 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
425g / 15oz can black eyed beans (peas), drained
salt and ground black pepper
For the dumplings
115g / 4oz / 1 cup self raising (self rising) flour
50g / 2oz / scant 1/2 cup vegetable suet
45ml / 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
90ml 6 tbsp water
This recipe can also be made with lean lamb. Leg steaks or diced shoulder would be ideal cuts to choose. Omit the juniper berries, try cannellini beans in the place of black eyed peas and use red onions rather than brown ones.
Preheat the over to 180C / 350F / Gas 4. Place the roughly chopped prunes and apricots in a small bowl. Pour over the cider and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.
Season the flour then toss the pork in the flour to coat. Reserve any leftover flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Brown the meat in batches, adding a little more oil if necessary. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Add the onions, garlic and celery to the casserole and cook for 5 minutes. Add any reserved flour and cook for a further 1 minute.
Blend in the stock until smooth. Add the cider and fruit, juniper berries, thyme and plenty of seasoning. Bring to the boil, add the pork, cover tightly and then cook in the oven for 50 minutes.
Just before the end of the cooking time prepare the dumplings. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt, then stir in the suet and chopped fresh parsley. Add the water gradually and mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth silky dough.
Remove the casserole from the oven then stir in the black eye beans and adjust the seasoning. Divide the dumpling mixture into six , form into rough rounds and place on top of the stew. Return the casserole to the oven, then cover and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked and the pork is tender.
Black eyed beans or peas as they are sometimes calledcan also be referred to as cowpeas. They are a medium sized cream coloured bean with a distinctive black spot or eye. They have a smooth creamy texture and a subtle flavour.Black eyed beans are a popular addition to soups and casseroles and are widely used in American southern states cuisine.