A simple pork stew with the lovely succulent oysters.
This casserole is from Nigel Slaters food column in the Guardian, where he talks about how marrying two good friends, oysters and pork, brings out the best in the ingredients. It is a really elegant thin stew that is simply delicious.
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 head of fennel
400g pork shoulder or leg, cubed
1 litre chicken stock
300g new potatoes
A handful of parsley
200g crème fraîche
12 rock oysters
- Peel the onions then cut them into quarters. Warm half of the olive oil in a heavy-based, high-sided casserole over a moderate heat, then add the onions. Peel the garlic and slice each clove finely, then stir into the onions and leave to cook for a good 15 minutes till soft and translucent. Stir regularly, and try not to let the onion brown.
- Halve the head of fennel lengthways and slice thinly, stir into the onions and leave to cook for 5 minutes. In a shallow-sided pan, warm the remaining oil, then add the cubed pork and lightly brown on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and add to the onions. Remove any excess fat from the pan, pour in half of the stock and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve any tasty sediment into the stock, then pour into the pork and onions, together with the remaining stock and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat, season with salt and leave to simmer, partially covered with a lid, giving it the occasional stir to make sure it doesn’t stick, for an hour. Halfway through the cooking time, scrub the new potatoes, cut them in half then add to the simmering pork and onions. Chop the parsley.
- When the potatoes and pork are tender, stir in the crème fraîche and chopped parsley, season generously with coarsely ground black pepper and continue simmering for 5 minutes. There should plenty of creamy cooking liquor in the pan.
- Open the oysters, check them scrupulously for grit then add them to the casserole. Serve immediately, in bowls or deep plates, ladling the cooking liquor over as you go. Provide plenty of bread and spoons.
Recipe by Nigel Slater from the Guardian. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/Observer