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How to Slow Cook Pork and add flavour.
Slow Cooked Pork
The beauty of cooking slow pork is that it becomes really succulent and full of flavour, as the meat has time to take on and absorb the taste of the other ingredients cooking with it.
Pork in bread dough
I made these pork wraps from a shoulder of pork, an onion, two apples, boiled potato and seasoning. I used bread dough instead of pastry to see what they would turn out like. I was not disappointed.
The bread dough was made first as it needs time to prove, that is, for the yeast to work its magic.
I used 225 grams of bread flour
a teaspoon of dried yeast
a teaspoon of sugar
75 mls of tepid water.
50 mls of vegetable oil
I mixed this all together and added a teaspoon of salt. The dough was a bit wet so I turned it out of the bowl onto a floured worktop and kneaded it, adding more flour as it started to form a dough. The dough needs to be stretched, working it hard to make the glutens in the dough stretch. After about ten minutes of kneading, the dough became smooth and glossy. I put it back in the bowl, covered it with a cloth and put it in a warm place in the kitchen to rise. I left it for 2 hours.
Out of the oven
Cook the slow pork
While the dough was proving, I diced the pork, rolled it in flour and added a sliced onion, salt and pepper, then cut two apples into the mixture.
I covered this with boiling water and put it in the centre of the oven, preheated to 220C gas mark 7.
After 30 minutes I reduced the heat right down to gas mark1 and let it simmer for 3 hours.
The dough had risen to double its size after 2 hours so I tipped it out of the bowl onto the floured worktop again and gave it another good workout, kneading and stretching. Then it went back into the bowl again and it was allowed to rise. I then peeled and boiled some potatoes to add to the pork mixture.
Once the pork casserole came out of the oven, I let it cool down. It must be cool when going into pastry or dough.
Make the wraps
When it was cool enough I cut up the larger pieces of meat and added the cooled, chopped potato.
Taking a small ball of the dough, I rolled it out into a circle and placed the pork mixture in the centre. Using milk to paint the edges of the dough, I folded the ends over then rolled the dough into a sausage shape. I used up all the dough, making rolls then painted them with milk and put them in the oven at 220C gas mark 7 for twenty minutes. After 20 minutes, I turned the rolls over to cook the bottoms through and gave them another ten minutes. They were done.
I had a good quantity of the pork mix left at the finish so I quickly made some pastry to my usual formula, 200 grams plain flour, 100 grams cooking fat, and a teaspoon of salt. Rubbing this all together until it became like breadcrumbs, I added 2 tablespoons of iced water and mixed it into pastry which I put in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Then it was simply a matter of rolling out the pastry, cutting circles around a plate, adding the slow pork mix to one half of the circle, then turning the pastry over and sealing the join with milk.
The oven was turned up to 220C again and when it was at temperature, the pork pasties went in. They took fifteen minutes to become golden and gorgeous.