Much as we love the classic Delia dish of Pork with Apples and Cider, it does require a) quite a lot of preparation by way of chopping ingredients, and b) a fair amount of forward planning as it has to cook for 3 hours. The previous recipe in the book (Delia's Complete Cookery Course) is just as nice (possibly even nicer?), but much simpler and quicker to cook. Once again, as you can see in the photo below it's no beauty in terms of looks, but it's rich and delicious, hearty and warming for an Autumnal evening. We like it with rice a green veg, but it would also be lovely with some crusty bread to mop up the cidery juices.
Normandy Pork with Cream and Apples
4 medium sized pork chops or steaks
1 medium cooking apple and 1 large Cox's apple (I just use 2 medium Bramleys)
1 large onion, cut into rings
1 clove garlic, crushed
3/4 tsp dried thyme (I actually prefer to substitute a tsp of fennel seeds here)
1/2 pint dry cider (or a whole can - we buy cans of cider just for cooking)
3 tbsp double cream
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5.
Melt half the butter in a frying pan and fry the pork on both sides to a nice crusty golden colour. Then transfer them to a lidded casserole dish and sprinkle with the thyme (or fennel if using).
Add the remaining butter to the pan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes to soften. Meanwhile core the apples and slice them into rings (or chunks), leaving on the peel as this gives extra flavour. Transfer the onion and garlic to the casserole with the pork, then fry the apple in the same fat just for a few seconds on each side then put them in the casserole too, sprinkling on the tsp of sugar.
Spoon off any fat still left in the pan (although if you use lean pork steaks you won't need to do this) then pour in the cider. Bring it up to simmering point, stirring to loosen any tasty bits stuck to the pan, then pour into the casserole and season with salt and pepper.
Put the lid on and place the casserole into the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the meat is cooked (I often leave it for up to an hour, it doesn't hurt and makes the meat even more tender). Then to finish off stir in the cream. Serve immediately.