pork and root vegetable casserole with fennel and mustard dumplings
 

serves 6. hands-on time 50 min, oven time 3 hours 30 min

Make Ahead: Make the casserole to the end of step 3, then cool, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Warm thoroughly in a low oven, then continue the recipe from step 4.

Plain flour for dusting
1.2kg British free-range pork shoulder, cut into 3cm pieces
Vegetable oil for frying
200g shallots, halved
300g parsnips, cut into 3cm pieces
300g carrots, cut into 3cm pieces
500g maris piper potatoes, cut into 3cm pieces
200g smoked bacon lardons
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500m1 dry cider
500ml chicken stock
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
3 small red eating apples, cored and quartered
Small bunch fresh tarragon, chopped, plus extra to serve

for the dumplings
150g self-raising flour, plus extra
1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan, then ground in a pestle and mortar
100g greek yogurt
2 tbsp dijon mustard

1 Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/ gas 3½. Put the plain flour in a shallow bowl and season. Dust the pork in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat a glug of oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat and brown the meat for 5 minutes until golden (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer to a plate.

2 Heat a little more oil in the casserole and fry the shallots for 5-7 minutes. Add the veg and lardons, then fry for 3-5 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.

3 Return the pork to the casserole, along with 450ml of the cider, the stock, mustard and bay leaves. Season, then cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hours, stirring every now and then. Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes more. Add the apples and tarragon and cook for a further 10 minutes.

4 Once you've added the apples to the casserole, make the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and ground fennel seeds with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. In a separate small bowl mix the greek yogurt and mustard, then mix into the flour. With floured hands, divide the mixture into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls. Handle the dough gently or the dumplings will be heavy.

5 Turn the oven up to 190°C/ 170°C fan/gas 5, Put the dumplings on top of the casserole, re-cover and cook for 15 minutes until the dumplings have puffed and the apples are soft. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the rest of the cider and scatter with a little tarragon. Serve with greens.

PER SERVING 680kcals, 22.7g fat 6.8g saturated); 56.9g protein, 52.2g carbs (14.5g sugars),
2.7g salt, 7.7g fibre