I love a stew, casserole or slow-cooked dish that is meltingly tender and full of flavour, especially in the winter months (although I have been known to knock-up a casserole on a summer’s day when the mood takes me and the salad fayre starts to pale in interest).
This is a pork one paired with fennel and beans and so is economical, full of protein and seasonal too. If you haven’t tried fennel cooked this way (and fennel is great for digestion) then do give it a whirl or if not use celery instead. Not sure about borlotti beans? Then use another canned type you do like. Want it to be a little more flavoursome or special – then add the dregs of a bottle or a glass of red wine instead for some of the stock/bouillon. It’s very flexible.
Serve with mash or jacket potatoes if liked and with green vegetables – green beans and sprouting broccoli are good.
PORK AND BEAN WINTER CASSEROLE
low-fat cooking spray or mist
400 g/14 oz very lean pork (I used leg meat), diced
1 onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, crushed
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
300 ml/1¼ cups vegetable stock/bouillon
400 g/14 oz can cherry tomatoes
few sprigs fresh thyme (plus extra to garnish)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g/14 oz can borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
- Preheat the oven to 160 C/325 F/gas 3.
- Generously spritz a large flameproof casserole with low-fat cooking spray or mist. Fry the pork in batches, browning well and set aside.
- Re-spritz, add the onions and when just beginning to brown add the garlic and fennel.
- Add the pork and any juices back to the casserole dish and sprinkle over the flour, stirring well.
- Gradually add the stock/bouillon, tomatoes, thyme sprigs and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil.
- Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour.
- Add the borlotti beans and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until the meat is tender. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs and replace with fresh to garnish. Serve hot with fresh vegetables in season if liked.
WLS PORTION: ½
* suitable for Freezing
CALORIES PER PORTION: 220
Image courtesy of www.cannedfood.co.uk