Despite being a big city girl (Swedish standard) I come from a family of hunters. My granddad and aunt’s husband were big hunters when I grew up, so a visit to my grandparents inevitably meant moose for lunch/dinner (or maybe deer or boar every now and then). My aunt also has a farm where they raise beef cows (Aberdeen Angus and Herefords), so if I wasn’t having game I was having beef.
So I’ve pretty much grown up on lean meats. Moose is probably one of the leanest things you can eat, and with a mother who – whether she meant to or not – transferred her aversion to butter, whipped cream and deep fried foods to me, I have never been a fan of fatty foods. I don’t like butter or fat milk, I don’t particularly like whipped cream (a little can work) or battered and deep fried foods. I don’t like mayonnaise and thus there are certain sauces I don’t like (Béarnaise, Hollandaise…). I also don’t like vinegar, which means there are a lot of salad dressings I don’t like.
This means that often when I eat with people who don’t know me they mistake my dislikes for trying to be healthy or being on a diet, which is actually quite annoying. I understand that/why people jump to that conclusion, but it still bothers me because what they don’t know is that this dislike for fatty things is more than weighed up by a love for sweet things.
Anyway, where I’m trying to get with this is that I have never been a big pork fan. S thinks bacon is one of the best things in the world, whereas I would often choose something else. Leaves more for him though – so I’m sure he doesn’t mind! Recently, however, I have started to cook more with pork tenderloin. I made that goulashy stew, a pork cider stew (that I haven’t posted yet because it didn’t photograph that well), bacon wrapped pork tenderloin (twice – on S’s request) and now this pork and pear cider stew. Something about pork makes it go very well with fruit, and having a sweet tooth I like the sweetness of the cider and the soft pears in this so much. Also, while we’re on the topic, can I just say that the expression for liking sweet things is so much better in Swedish! In English you have a sweet tooth, but in Swedish you are a sweets (/candy) pig. How much better is that?
The other pork cider stew I made was less sweet than this one, but I think that was partly because it had carrots and parsnips in it instead of fruit. That one was made using apple cider, whereas this one has pear cider (to go with the pears). I would recommend using a cider with a slightly higher alcohol content, to get more of that cider flavour. I had to buy mine in the supermarket which meant that it only had 2.2% alcohol, so it was very sweet and didn’t add the same depth of flavour to the stew. But it was still very nice.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork tenderloin
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp flour
500 ml pear cider
2 medium pears
100 ml cream
Heat half of the oil in a pot and fry the pork on high heat until browned. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining oil and the onion and fry for about 8 min, until soft. Then add the garlic and fry for another few minutes.
Add the flour and stir thoroughly. Increase the heat, then add the cider and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Return the pork to the pot, season with salt and pepper, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes, covered.
Peel, core and cut the pears into 16 slices (so 8 each). Add them to the stew and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes, covered. Then add the cream and stir thoroughly.
I chose to have my stew with mash potatoes, but the recipe I found online recommended crusty bread. I think a good mash was really good with this though, especially now that it’s colder outside and I want comforting food. Bread is probably very nice with this in spring, but for now I’ll settle for mash.