There are few things better after a long day at work than a home-cooked dinner and a bottle of chilled apple cider. I’m not particularly a fan of drinking very sweet ciders such as Rekorderlig and Somersby straight up, preferring James Squire’s Orchard Crush or Bilpin that has more of a tang and slight acidic bite to it.
I was looking through Gourmet Traveller one quiet afternoon at work for some weekday dinner inspiration, and saw a recipe for Pork with cider and apples. As I already had cider, apples and potatoes at home, all I needed to do was to pick up pork scotch fillets and some sage from the supermarket on the way home. Too easy.
It’s a lighter alternative to a steak with mash. Still lots of flavours of bacon, sweet apples and the aroma of sage, but less heavy than a beef steak. This recipe is perfect for one of the “transition” seasons (fall or spring) while Pink Lady apples are still around and taste gorgeously bittersweet around their caramelised bronze edges.
You will need, to serve two:
- Two pork scotch fillet steaks (about 200g each);
- 2 teaspoons olive oil;
- 10g butter;
- 1/2 brown onion, cut into wedges;
- 1 pink lady apple, cut into 8 wedges;
- 6 sage leaves;
- 100ml apple cider;
- 2 teaspoons creme fraiche.
For the potato puree:
- Two Desiree potatoes, chopped into cubes;
- 100ml milk, hot;
- 60g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. To make the potato puree, place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender and remove from heat and drain. Pass through a potato ricer.
Whisk in the butter and gradually pour in the milk until your desired creamy consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste before setting aside somewhere warm.
Pat the pork steaks dry with a paper towel and season to taste. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, add the steaks and butter and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes each side.
Transfer the steaks to an oven tray and put into the preheated oven to cook through.
Meanwhile, add the onion to the pan and stir until tender (3-5 minutes). Add the apples and sage and turn occasionally until tender, a little golden and a little caramelised just around the edges of the apple as it’s sweet juices react with the heat.
Transfer these to a plate, deglaze the pan with cider and reduce for 1-2 minutes before adding the creme fraiche. Unfortunately for me I thought I had a fair bit of sauce when I added the creme fraiche and turned the heat off and turned around to prepare to plate up. When I turned back around, the cider jus had bubbled into almost nothing! I had to work pretty hard to get those last dribbles of liquid gold off the pan. So if you need more cider and creme fraiche to get more jus, go ahead.
Serve with the pork and the potato puree.