Braised pork with herbs, bacon and baby potatoes. Photo / Josh Griggs
Sometimes a little love in the kitchen can go a long way – as evidenced by these luxuriously comforting dishes in every second of cooking time.
Cheat cassoulet with pork, duck and sausage
For 8 to 10 people
It’s deceptively easy to prepare, yet incredibly rich and decadent for a gourmet dinner with friends. Serve with steamed or blanched green vegetables.
2 tablespoons olive oil
800g boneless, skinless pork shoulder, cut into 4cm pieces
120g pancetta, sliced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
4 sprigs of thyme
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
5 cups of chicken broth
400 g of tomato coulis
2 cans (390 g) cannellini beans, drained
4 confit duck legs
8 good quality pork sausages
200 g sourdough, crusts removed, coarsely chopped
½ cup curly parsley
1 tablespoon reserved duck fat
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and brown the pork, in batches, until lightly browned. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
2. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, then add the onion, carrot, celery and thyme. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the chili flakes, garlic, bay leaf, chicken broth and passata, bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and add the pork. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours, remove the lid and continue cooking. 2 hours. Add drained cannellini beans and stir.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the confit duck legs in a roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, then break each duck leg into about four pieces, pushing them apart and set aside. Once the pork has been cooked for 4 hours, add the duck and stir gently.
4. Cook the pork sausages in a sauté pan for about 10 minutes, until cooked through, and set aside.
5. Place the chopped sourdough in a food processor along with the parsley, duck fat, garlic and salt and blend to form crumbs.
6. At this point, the cassoulet can be made and refrigerated overnight or continue cooking.
7. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place half of the pork, beans and duck mixture in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Cut the sausages into four pieces and poke them into the mixture. Top with remaining pork mixture and cover with breadcrumbs. Bake for 1 hour before serving with green vegetables.
– Recipe by Sarah Tuck
Beef cheek and cashew nut curry
For 4 to 6 people
This perfectly spiced and creamy curry is a real crowd pleaser. The caramelized onions with roasted cashews are the crowning glory and you need plenty of hot naan bread when serving.
⅓ cup raw cashews
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
½ cup chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 brown onions, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1.2 kg beef cheeks, cut into 6 cm pieces
3 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup beef broth
½ cup cream
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Good knob of butter
4 large brown onions, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C normal cooking.
2. For the dough: place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to obtain a smooth dough.
3. For the curry: Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and brown the onions and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add batter and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add the beef and stir to coat well with the spice paste. Stir in all remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to a boil then cover with a piece of parchment paper and an airtight lid or aluminum foil. Put in the oven and cook for 2h30, stirring once. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes until the beef is very tender and the sauce has reduced.
5. For the garnish: Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and brown the onions with a good pinch of salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in the cashews then coat with curry to serve
– Recipe by Claire Aldous
Braised pork with herbs, bacon and baby potatoes
For 6 to 8 people
Pork pairs wonderfully with herbs and fennel seeds and produces tender, tender meat when cooked slowly. If you don’t have cider, use white wine instead.
1.5 kg skinless Scottish pork tenderloin
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 medium waxy potatoes, halved if large
2 brown onions, thickly sliced
150 g coarsely chopped minced bacon
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped sage
3 large sprigs of thyme
8 whole garlic cloves, with skin
2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
500ml pear or apple cider
2 tablespoons fresh cream
Watercress or arugula
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C convection heat. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. Roll up the net and tie it with kitchen twine at 4cm intervals to secure it.
2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to a large roasting pan with the potatoes. Do not wash the pan.
3. Add the onions, bacon, sage, thyme, garlic and fennel seeds to the skillet and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard then add the cider, letting it boil. Season then pour the contents of the pan over the pork in the roasting tin, spreading it evenly.
4. Cover the dish with a sheet of parchment paper and then aluminum foil to seal well.
5. Cook for 1 hour then uncover and continue cooking for an additional hour, or until pork is tender when skewered and juices run clear.
6. To finish: Transfer the pork to a large plate. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil to keep warm and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the crème fraîche to the cooking juices and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
7. To serve: Remove twine and slice pork. Pour over onions and potatoes with plenty of cooking juices. Serve with watercress or arugula and crusty bread, if desired.
– Recipe by Claire Aldous
Find other good recipes on plat.co.nz