Cooking with Cider – Dan Kelly’s Brined Pork Fillet, with Fennel, Apple, Onion and Creamy Mash

Anyone who knows me well, will know my immense dislike for cooking but my love of eating good food. I have a short list of dishes I can cook well, but I’m not great at trying new things. I leave that to Wayne! To my surprise I actually found a recipe I was dying to try. I was even so excited about finishing up my working week on a Saturday night to come home and prepare this delicious meal for myself and Wayne. Even he couldn’t believe his luck! 

So what’s the recipe I hear you ask? How about Cider-Brined pork fillet with apples, onions and fennel, found in Sláinte The complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider. A wonderfully written book by Caroline Hennessy & Kirsten Jensen. This book has become an invaluable source of information to me. 

So my choice of cider for this dish was of course that of Dan Kellys. I sat the pork fillet in the brine, using a bottle of the cider and salt, the night before and put it in the fridge. 

The next day I was counting down the hours to get home. Bounding in the door like an excited child, I began to prepare everything else. By searing off the pork, to chopping up the onion, fennel and apple. After a quick sauté I placed the veg in a casserole dish and placed the pork on top then into the oven to roast for approximately 25 minutes. 

 Once cooked through, I let the pork rest while I mashed up the potatoes I steamed. Using milk and butter to make a lovely creamy mash. After carving the pork and I served up. Thank God it was only for myself & Wayne as my nerves in  the kitchen were gone! I’m not a very confident cook at all. So I’m delighted to say this was  made so easy thanks to Sláinte.

Now that I’ve done the trial run on this dish and seeing how much Wayne enjoyed it, I’ll be more than happy to cook it again for family and friends. It was so tasty, the pork itself was so juicy and the flavours were amazing. 

We washed it down with a bottle of Dan Kelly’s Fiona’s Fancy 2011 Vintage Cider, it was the perfect matched cider. Now i’ve seen how easy it is to cook using cider as an ingredient I can’t wait to try more of the recipes in Sláinte. 

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