Sauté some button mushrooms in a little olive oil until soft, but not coloured.
Add diced pork and a clove of bruised garlic, brown for a minute or two.
Add a slug of brandy, and half a glass of sherry. Allow to boil rapidly until reduced by about half.
Add a desert spoon of paprika and stir, remembering to bubble for a minute to remove any rawness from the spice.
Add pork or chicken stock (water if you have to), to cover the meat by an inch. Bring up to a simmer, then cover and continue cooking until pork is tender.
When tender uncover the pan and boil rapidly, reducing by half.
Taste and season.
Add half a small tub of crème fraiche (or half fat crème fraiche if you prefer) bringing back up to a simmer. To thicken, slacken a little cornflour in water and add to the mix.
Once again taste and check the seasoning.
Serve on top of a pile of fluffy white rice and garnish with a few courgette ribbons, a spoon of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Slow cooked pork belly
Take a thick end of pork belly and score the skin and sprinkle well with sea salt.
Split in half two onions around their middles and remove the skins.
Place the four half onions in the bottom of a roasting pan and balance the pork belly on top.
Pour an inch of hot water into the pan.
Place in a 200 degree oven for 20 mins then reduce the heat to 100 degrees and cook for 3 hours.
Check crispiness of skin – it may need a few more minutes on high.
Remove pork from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 mins (don’t cover).
Mash the four half onions into the gravy in the bottom of the pan and knap over the finished sliced pork.
Serve with new potatoes (oh, go on then roast if you like) and fresh green vegetables.
Now, how about a twist on that?
Slow roast pork belly; Oriental Style
A take on a Rick Stein recipe. Do as above, having first coated both sides of the pork in a mix of crushed szechuan pepper corns, black peppercorns and Maldon sea salt.
It is best (and easiest) if you dry roast the peppercorns for a minute or two in a dry frying pan, and then crush by hand – you don’t want a powder.
Leave the dried marinade on the pork for as long as you can – minimum of 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
Store in the fridge and then proceed as above.
For the sauce, add a little black bean to the resulting gravy and serve with sticky rice and steamed pak choi.
Pork in Cider with Apples
This works equally well with diced pork or with chops – if you like you can omit the meat altogether and make it as a sauce on the top of the stove and use as a gravy for roast pork. It has a really clean fresh taste and is very light; it goes well with either rice, mash or new potatoes.
Finely slice a large onion and soften in a little oil with a crushed clove of garlic and a little salt to stop it browning.
Add your meat and seal.
Add a pint of dry cider, a thinly sliced, peeled and cored bramley apple and two good eating apples like cox (the two types of apple are important) and three or four fresh sage leaves.
Cook either on the hob or in the oven until the pork is tender.
Remove pork from the sauce (as well as the sage leaves), bring to the boil and reduce. The idea is that the bramley disintegrates into the sauce but leaves the pieces of cox. This dish needs quite a bit of seasoning so taste frequently and add salt as required.