Lockdown has yielded some wondrous culinary innovations, and this is never more apparent than with the emergence of Swper.Box, Wales’ first and only recipe subscription service. With the sound and scrumptious reasoning that if you cannot experience the finest Welsh cuisine eating out, you should at least bring the best of it into your kitchen, Swper.Box offer vibrant, easy-to-follow eight-step recipe cards allowing you to make great Welsh/international dishes to restaurant standards at home.
There are several other aspects to these guys that make them really cool, too: they have weekly changing menus, with six different recipes to choose from each week, and the recipes are sent out in recyclable packaging. They also have a neat wales-to-the-world ethos: whilst at the heart of each recipe they produce are quality Welsh ingredients, and ones that are fairly straightforward to source, they encompass globe-wide cooking methods and dishes.
Here we profile one of their most talismanic and quintessentially Welsh dishes: Wales’ very own version of the cassoulet (cawl-ssoulet, of course!).
It’s local heritage pork chops served atop a vegetable-packed cassoulet zinging with charred cabbage and Welsh cider. It gets catapulted into divine status courtesy of its tantalising crunchy pangrattato topping, made with Teifi mature cheese and walnuts.
- 2 x local heritage pork chop
- Seasoning for pork chop
- Rapeseed/sunflower oil for cooking
- 1 onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- Breadcrumbs (approx 1-2 slices of fresh farmhouse bread)
- 400g butterbeans
- 300ml Cider (Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon Cider is perfect for this recipe)
- 1 stock cube
- 6 walnuts
- ¼ head cabbage, shredded
- 25g fresh herbs of your choice (thyme, bay and parsley work well)
- Ample helping of Teifi mature cheese, crumbled or grated
- Take your pork chop from the fridge and season all over, with salt and ground black pepper or according to your taste, including the fat. Leave on a plate to come to room temperature
- Peel and dice the onion and garlic along with your carrot and celery. Heat up 2 tbsp of rapeseed/sunflower oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and add the diced onion, garlic, carrot and celery mix, seasoning lightly and sauté for 10 minutes.
- Heat-up a second large frying pan with a good coating of sunflower/ rapeseed oil. Stir in your breadcrumbs to combine and toast until crispy (about 5 mins) then scoop out onto a plate, leaving to cool.
- Add the butterbeans, cider and stock cube to the first pan, stir well and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for the duration of the recipe. This will be your cassoulet.
- Roughly chop your walnuts and set aside for the end. Peel off the outer layer and slice the cabbage into thin strips, discarding the stalk.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan and fry the shredded cabbage over a high heat. Try not to stir too much: this will allow the cabbage to char and colour nicely (a member of the brassica variety of vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower can also handle the bitterness of charring).
- When coloured nicely remove the cabbage from the frying pan, drain any excess liquid and return the pan to the heat Add the pork chops with the fat side edge down until it starts to brown off, place the pork chops on their sides and cook for 4 minutes each side.
- Finely chop your fresh herbs and mix with the toasted breadcrumbs. Also mix in the crumbled or grated Teifi cheese (this is now your pangrattato).
- Turn the heat off from the frying pan and rest your pork chops for another 4-5 minutes until juices run clear. Add the pan fried cabbage to the butter bean cassoulet and stir to combine.
- To plate, ladle half of the cassoulet onto each plate and top with the rested pork chop and sauce from the pan. Finish with spoonfuls of pangrattato, chopped walnuts Enjoy.
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