Pork, Lentil and Apple Casserole
There’s nothing better than the satisfaction of good food that hasn’t cost the earth that is filling and warming at this time of year.
This meal goes a long way for a small budget, warming and delicious – perfect for a winter supper. Pigs cheeks are a great economical cut and become deliciously tender and really tasty with a long, slow cook. You could use a slow cooker for this recipe too.
Good butchers and some supermarkets will sell pigs’ cheeks, but you can source them online without any fuss from Field and Flower, knowing that they’re working with suppliers who promote great animal welfare, free range and sustainable with affordable prices. Field and Flower aim to use all their hand cut meat nose to tail and any surplus meat is sent to FareShare South West to distribute amongst those who need it.
A large casserole dish for use on the hob and in the oven.
4 sticks celery, washed and chopped
1 large sized onion
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
450g or 8 individual pigs cheeks
450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
3 carrots peeled and chopped
2 parsnips peeled and sliced thickly
500ml stock – either your own stock from chicken or vegetables or a stock cube or pot
500ml apple juice (optionally you can make this up with an additional 500ml in stock)
200g lentils, rinsed and picked over for any stones
Salt and pepper
Fry the celery and the onion together in the sunflower oil until softened in a large hob proof/oven proof casserole dish
Remove any tough membranes, or fatty tissue and cut each cheek into 4. You can see the membranes in this pic:
Season the pork with salt and pepper, then add the pork to the celery and onion and cook until the meat is browned on all surfaces
Add the apples, carrots, stock/apple juice
Finally add the lentils and stir together thoroughly
Cook in a slow oven (150ºC/ Gas Mark 2 1/2) for 2 hours. This is an easy dish for late diners, as it will not spoil with some additional time in the oven.
Taste for seasoning before serving and adjust as required.
Tasty with spring greens, braised red cabbage, beans or any other vegetable of your choice.
*tip: This is an easy dish for latecomers to the table as it will not spoil with additional time in the oven. You could use a slow cooker for this recipe too and come home to a lovely meal.