10 ounces skinless, meaty slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
One 750-ml bottle sparkling dry apple cider
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped sage leaves
How to Make It
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add one-third of the pork to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet. Repeat in 2 more batches with the remaining butter, oil and pork.
Add the bacon to the pot and cook until golden; add to the pork. Add the onion and garlic to the pot; cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and softened, 5 minutes. Add the pork, bacon, cider, stock and bay leaves to the casserole; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently until the pork is tender, 2½ hours. Discard the bay leaves.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Add the cornstarch mixture and the cream to the stew and simmer until the liquid is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and sage and season with salt and pepper.
The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Earthy artisanal hard cider.
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