Sunday, 15 August 2010


I usually cook Pork Fillet in the 'Normandy' style. Apples, Calvados, Cream. A little Flambée fun... singed eyebrows, swigging lustily from a bottle of Cidre Brut and pinching Karen's bottom whenever she gets too close. 'Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw!'...I call this (and Karen) my 'Keith Floyd Dish'....

For Karen's benefit it was high time I 'Rang the Changes' and tried something a little different. Cider, Mustard, Honey, Pork. A veritable Holy Quadrinity of classic English ingredients with the potential to deliver 'Foody Nirvana' in the hands of a competent cook, 'Reasonable Chow' in mine.

Colemans Mustard, Cotwolds Honey, and Butford Organics Callisto Cider provided the sauciness. A slab of Pork Fillet from Ashley Herb Farm and a few leaves of Sage from under the beaks of the hens firmed things up. Slice, mix, layer, drizzle, season, and cook for half an hour in a moderate oven until cooked through. The honey may go slightly crunchy on top, don't worry, this is a good thing. Don't overdo the Sage! Or the Mustard! Feel free to overdo the cider though...

Butford Organics make wonderful, full-bodied, robust Herefordshire Ciders, and delicate, fragrant Perrys. The Callisto is a bottle fermented Medium/Dry cider made from mostly Bittersweet cider apples. It's the kind of cider you imagine being poured golden, hazy, and slightly sparkling from an ancient wooden barrel in a hidden rural hostelry in deepest Somerset. If only! The in-bottle fermentation has produced a lovely zesty note which perfectly balances the rich tannins from the Dabinett, Pethyre and Yarlington Mill cider apples. Delicious stuff, and available to lucky Burton-on-Trenters at the White Dragon English Produce Shop, which is where I got it.

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