Slow-Cooked Pork and Cider Bake
4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
1 kg diced pork shoulder
1.5 tbsp butter, cubed, plus
a little extra
4 leeks, trimmed and
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp plain flour
500 ml dry cider
400 ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
½ small bunch parsley, finely chopped small bunch sage, leaves picked,
5 left whole, the rest chopped
200 ml cream
8 oz chopped mushrooms
400 g golden potatoes
400 g sweet potatoes
1. Heat half of the oil in a casserole dish, and fry the pork pieces over medium-high heat in batches until seared all over, then transfer to a plate. Add another 1 tbsp oil to the pan, if needed, while cooking the batches. Once all the pork is seared, transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. Add another 1 tbsp oil to the pan with a little butter, and fry half the leeks with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic, fry for 1 minute, then stir in the flour.
3. Pour in the cider, a little at a time, stirring to pick up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and to combine everything. Add the stock, bay leaves and seared pork, then simmer, half-covered with a lid for 1–1 ½ hours, until the meat is just tender (it will cook later in the oven to the point of falling apart). Note: Can be prepared a day ahead.
4. Heat the oven to 400 F. Simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes to reduce the sauce, if you need to — it shouldn’t be too liquid, or the potatoes will sink into the sauce. Stir in the parsley, chopped sage, remaining leeks and the cream, then season well.
5. Peel both types of potatoes and cut into slices 2 mm thick, by hand or using a mandoline. Alternate layers of potato and sweet potato in circles over the pie, or randomly, if you prefer. Dot the cubed butter over the top and bake for 1 ½ hours until the potato is tender. Nestle in the whole sage leaves, brushed in a little oil, for the last 10 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.