Imagine our delight when Brady's Lookout Cider appeared two stalls along from our own this week at Harvest Market Launceston! Pork and cider - that well known match made in heaven - and the possibility for a dinner with ingredients entirely from the West Tamar.
We purchased a bottle of Premium Cuvee with its soft bubbles and fruitiness and just a hint of pear. Caroline and Chris are using natural fermentation techniques and fresh apples rather than concentrate, and it makes for a lovely subtle, soft flavour with a beautiful fine fizz.
Back home we found Delia's recipe for Braised Bangers with Cider online, one she's been using for twenty years which is ever popular - and no wonder. Like the best recipes, it has just a few ingredients and classic flavour combinations.
We browned some of our own Premium Pork sausages in the cast iron pot, then cooked down some lardons (bacon strips) and onion, added a little flour to thicken the mix, and half a bottle of Cider, which fizzed softly and began its work of seeping into the sizzling bacon and creating a meaty, fruity base for the dish. A sprig of fresh thyme from the market, a bay leaf from the garden, back in with the sausages, lid on and into the oven.
While the sausages were bubbling away quietly in their cider bath, I poured another glass from the bottle and got on with making some creamy mashed potato. It seemed only natural to drink this cider from a flute given the natural head of lovely soft fizz on it.
We always, always add a big knob of Tasmanian butter to our mashed potatoes, sour cream for smoothness and tang, and some finely grated Parmesan for an umami kick.
Just before serving we cooked off some slices of apple from our local Windari Orchard, purchased that day at Harvest. Our pigs occasionally eat local windfall apples too.
When it came out of the oven, the cider and bacon juices had cooked down into a brown, rich, fruity and bacony gravy which blended dreamily with the creamy mashed potatoes and zing of the fried apple - washed down delightfully with a last glass of cider. That bottle went a long way and certainly gave its all!
You can find Delia's recipe for Braised Bangers with Cider here. And you can purchase our Premium Pork Sausages made from free range Wessex Saddleback pork raised on our West Tamar farm, fortnightly at Harvest Market Launceston. Bon Appetit!