My grandmother has, in the past couple of weeks, started passing on a number of her recipes that I have expressed an interest in trying out. Since she is of a certain age, my grandmother is from an era in which most people would naturally eat frugally. As one might imagine, it was unacceptable, both socially and economically, to waste resources during war-time and post-war Britain; the setting in which she grew up. Though it is fairly clear that the roots of this dish do not lie in the 1940s – particularly with the addition of dried apricots – I believe that it still retains the frugal sensibilities of that period, as so many of my recipes do.
Pork and cider truly are a match made in heaven. Of course, pork and apple are an age-old combination, so it makes sense that this dish would work incredibly well. The dried apricot only adds to this. After they have been cooked in the cider and meat juices for a couple of hours, they swell up and burst – not literally – with a sweet and decadent flavour. On the surface, pasta may seem like a rather odd choice of accompaniment. However, on second thoughts, it occurred to me that a simple penne would take on the sweet, thick sauce rather well. Thankfully the combination worked wonderfully and the dish was a resounding success. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Pork Loin in Cider with Dried Apricots
• 400g pork tenderloin, chopped into medallions
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
• 500ml dry cider, no less than 5.5%
• 200-300ml vegetable or chicken stock
• Roughly 20 dried apricots, halved
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• 70-100g penne per person
• Fresh parsley to garnish
• Olive Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Begin by frying the onion, in a generous amount of olive oil, until translucent. Add the garlic before tipping in the pork. Cook for a few minutes, until the pork has been browned all over. Pour over the cider and stock, throw in the apricots. Whisk the flour into a roux with a little water and add it to the pot. Pop the pot into the oven, with a lid, for at least two hours.
2. 15 minutes before serving put the pasta on to boil. Serve immediately with a little parsley to garnish.
Cost: Pork tenderloin is a reasonably cost efficient cut of meat and rather tasty to boot. This means that this rather pleasing dish comes in at a ridiculously reasonable price of £6.