AS­PARA­GUS WITH PORK AND SHALLOTS

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - FOOD -

SERVES: 6 PREP TIME: 20 MIN­UTES COOK TIME: 45 MIN­UTES

450g trimmed pork 1 tbsp each, but­ter and olive oil 12 plump shallots 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp plain flour 1 cup ap­ple cider 3 cups hot chicken stock 2 small sprigs thyme 1 bunch medium as­para­gus 200ml creme fraiche 3 tsp Di­jon mus­tard 1 tsp green pep­per­corns in brine, rinsed (op­tional)

CUT pork into cubes no larger than shallots. MELT but­ter and oil in a sturdy heavy-based pot and, when hot, add pork in batches and brown lightly over a mod­er­ate to high heat. Re­move meat from pot and set aside on a plate. Add shallots to pot to brown, toss­ing them oc­ca­sion­ally so they colour evenly. Re­turn pork and juices to pot, sprin­kle over flour and cook a minute or two, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. In­crease heat and pour in cider.

SIM­MER un­til it is re­duced by half, scrap­ing the crusty bits on the base of the pot. Pour in hot stock, add thyme and bring to the boil, then lower heat and sim­mer, partly cov­ered, for about 30 min­utes, un­til the meat is ten­der but still re­tains its shape. TRIM thick ends of as­para­gus, cut spears into two or three short lengths and add to pot with salt and pep­per. Con­tinue cook­ing for 2-3 min­utes, then stir in creme fraiche, mus­tard and green pep­per­corns, if us­ing.

COOK’S NOTE:

The cut of pork you choose will de­ter­mine cook­ing time. Suit­able ten­der cuts in­clude ten­der­loin, scotch fil­let, shoul­der or leg. Creme fraiche, which is a tangy, rich cream, will not cur­dle when added. Sub­sti­tute sour cream if un­avail­able.

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