Bacon collar with cider and apple butter

Matt Tebbutt cooks a variation of traditional pork and apples, using a cut that benefits from long, slow cooking with cider
By Matt Tebbutt
Bacon collar with cider and apple butter
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2.25 kg bacon collar, rolled and tied
  • 1 bottles cider
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 120 g butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
  • 200 g Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof casserole dish. Season the bacon collar with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sear in the hot dish until golden-brown all over.

3. Pour in two-thirds of the cider and all of the stock. Bring to a simmer and add two of the bay leaves and the leaves from two sprigs of the thyme. Place into the oven and cook for an hour and a half, or until the bacon collar is tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest.

4. Melt 20g of the butter in a large frying pan and fry the onions for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the apples and the remaining herbs and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour in the remaining cider and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples have broken down.

5. Add a few spoonfuls of the cooking juices from the pork into the pan with the apples. Beat 80g of the butter into the apples until well combined.

6. Meanwhile, tip the cabbage into a large pan and place over a high heat. Add a dash of water along with the remaining butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves begin to soften.

6. Remove the pork from the casserole and slice. Serve with the buttered cabbage and a few spoonfuls of the apple butter. Drizzle over some more bacon cooking juices.

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