So I have some exciting/hilarious news to tell you.
It’s been kind of a running joke for a while now, that I don’t really cook.
To the point that, whenever I do cook, I usually have to tweet/Instagram/Facebook the fact that it’s actually happening. (And then I also have to send my Mum a text to show off that I’m not as much of a useless adult as we all thought.)
Keep this in mind while I tell you the news yeah?
Over the coming year I’m going to be working to create four new recipes, all completely original and perfectly seasonal, featuring the wonderfully British Bramley Apple!
(I’ll leave you a little paragraph here to get the laughing out of your system.)
(Are you done? OK.)
Seriously though. I think I laughed for about 10 minutes straight when I first got the email. The other 5 bloggers are a mix of mummy and food bloggers, and all of them are AMAZING.
And then there’s me.
Who only learned how to chop an onion properly about 6 months ago and usually lives off restaurant food, pasta with olive oil, and peanut-butter-straight-out-of-the-jar-with-a-teaspoon-cos-I-ran-out-bread.
Yeah. So, basically, my angle on this whole thing is to show you guys that, if I can create and cook these recipes, you DEFINITELY can too!
First on the menu?
This deeeeelicious Pork and Bramley Apple Crumble.
Tender pork steaks, melt-in-the-mouth chunks of Bramley apple and soft red onion, all cooked in a yummy cider and thyme gravy, and sprinkled with a cheesy parmesan crumble topping.
I served it with some simple wilted spinach and it was gooood. Rich, warm, comforting and so perfect for Autumn!
I’ve always known Bramley apples are great for cooking into desserts (thanks Mum!), but I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover that they work just as well in savoury dishes too.
They’ve got a higher malic acid (fruit acid) content and lower sugar levels than other apples, which means they retain their shape and tangy taste much better than most others after cooking.
Add some cheese and pork into the mix and you have yourself one delicious pot of apple-y goodness, my friend!
Seriously, this is possibly the best thing I’ve ever made in my kitchen. And it’s SO STUPIDLY EASY. Chop a bit, stir a bit, stir a bit more, sprinkle some stuff on top, shove in the oven.
- 4 boneless pork steaks
- 1 Bramley apple
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp plain flour for the filling
- 3 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper
- 80ish g butter (about a quarter of a normal pack)
- 6 tbsp plain flour for the topping
- 1 slice brown or seeded bread grated or rubbed into breadcrumbs
- 60 g Parmesan cheese
Prep all your ingredients: remove the fat from the pork steaks and cut into medium-sized chunks. Slice your apple into rough pieces (don't worry about peeling it). Peel and chop your onion. Crush, peel and finely chop your garlic.
Heat the oil in a deep pan. Once it's hot, add the onion and garlic, turn the heat down to medium, and stir until the onion has softened.
Add your pork, season generously with salt and pepper, and keep stirring until the meat is mostly white on the outside. It should only take about 5 minutes. Then add your chopped apple to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, until the apple has softened.
Sprinkle the plain flour over the pork and apple mixture, and mix it all in until everything is coated. Then pour in your cup of cider and stir vigorously to mix the flour into the liquid. Turn the heat down and let it reduce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Now we'll make the topping! Put the flour and butter in a large-ish mixing bowl and use your hands to crumble them together. Add more flour if you think you need it. You should be left with a dryish crumb mix. Add the breadcrumbs and cheese, and stir until everything is combined.
Turn the oven on to 180 degrees centigrade. Spoon your filling into a shallow-ish oven-proof dish. You don't want anything too deep, as you'll end up with a bad filling to crumble ratio, but if it's TOO shallow, your gravy will seep everywhere.
Sprinkle your topping generously over the top of your filling (make sure you get the corners!) and pop in the oven to bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is looking toasty and golden. Serve hot, with wilted greens on the side.
I’d like to say a quick thank you to Gary, for being my guinea pig (poor man), and my housemates, who have put up with me cooking savoury crumbles at all hours of the day, and then sprawling myself across the living room floor with scarves, apples and glasses of cider while I took a million and one photos.
So what do you think? Savoury crumble, yay or nay? Let me know in the comments below.
And make sure you check out the #LoveBramley tag on Twitter and Instagram to find out what the other bloggers are making!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to fill out my application for Masterchef…
*Written in collaboration with Bramley Apples.