Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coconut cream pork with apples

In 2007 my family switched from store-bought meat to buying in bulk directly from the farm once a year. That first season when we unloaded the coolers full of meat into our newly purchased chest freezer, I looked down on all the bundles neatly wrapped in butcher paper with a mixture of satisfaction and uneasiness. I was going to have to cook all that meat. Not only that but I had never cooked most of the cuts before. I didn't even know what some of those cuts were! One such cut was simply labeled: Ham. Now I know what a ham is, but this piece of meat was not cured and it looked nothing like the ham that my mother traditionally served up every Christmas. It looked more like a big steak. After lots and lots of trial and error, I finally developed this recipe and it has won a spot in the family cookbook because I've found that everyone, even our pickiest eater, will eat it.

I'm including a picture of the meat, pre-cooking, so that you can see what I'm working with. I'd love to know if anyone else has successful recipes for this cut. Every other thing I've tried has come out dry.
 For this recipe you will need:

2-3lb pork
1 large yellow onion, coarsely cut
4-5 crisp apples (I used Granny Smith), cut into small cubes
Lemon pepper
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
vegetable oil
1/2- 3/4 cup coconut cream/milk
3-4 slices bacon
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar (optional)
red pepper flakes

To begin, rinse the pork and pat dry. Rub lemon pepper well into both sides of the meat (I used about 3 Tablespoons), then place it in the middle of a glass 9x13 baking dish.  In a heavy skillet saute the onions in a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil until they are tender. Add the cubed apples and the cinnamon and cook for five minutes.
While the apples are cooking, place the bacon in strips over the top of the meat in the baking dish. I used un-cured bacon so I first tossed it with kosher salt and black pepper.

Spoon the onion and apple mixture over the meat, covering it completely. Spoon the coconut milk over the apples. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and a bit of kosher salt if your lemon pepper doesn't already have salt in it (mine didn't).

Cook uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

After the first 45 minutes, use a spatula to move the apples and onions to the sides of the pan so that the bacon has a chance to brown up a bit.  While you have the oven open, sprinkle the the brown sugar over the meat and the apples. 

When the meat is done, remove the dish from the oven, place the meat on a large cutting board, trim and discard fat, then cut into small pieces. Finally, mix the meat with the apples and onion mixture. The resulting dish will be a nice mixture of sweet and peppery.

Serve with garlic fried rice.


  1. This looks and sounds DELICIOUS! And it has bacon? What's not to love? ;-)

  2. I just can't get past the idea of having that much meat in the freezer. Does it last a year? Do you only buy pork this way?

  3. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in the very early 50's my parents bought an Amana freezer - one of the first standing ones and they would get it free if they bought meat and frozen veggies to keep it packed. It was so much fun in the beginning and then when it was getting near the end of the time before another shipment it was sorta bare but mom always came up with something. They did this for a while and we had the freezer free! AND this was Kosher meat so the cuts were different from what was in the supermarket. Mostly veal, beef and lamb. I don't remember chicken but this was a long time ago. Fresh meat direct from a farm. YUM, it must have been superb. I will cut this recipe, unless I
    decide to freeze it.