Ingredients

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
750 g (12 lb) pork shoulder steaks, trimmed of fat and cubed
1 leek, thinly sliced, the white and green parts kept separate
2 tablespoons plain flour
300 ml (½ pint) dry cider
300 ml (2 pint) chicken stock
200 g (7 oz) carrot, diced
1 dessert apple, cored and diced
2-3 sage sprigs
salt and pepper
150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
75 g (3 oz) shredded vegetable suet
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
5-7 tablespoons water

Instructions

1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the pork a few pieces at a time until all the meat is in the pan, then fry over a high heat until lightly browned.
2.Lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the slow cooker pot. Add the white leek slices to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
3.Stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the cider and stock. Add the carrot, apple, sage and some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring.
4.Pour the mixture into the slow cooker pot, cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the pork is tender.
5.Make the dumplings. Put the flour, suet, herbs and a little salt and into a bowl and mix together, then gradually stir in enough of the measurement water to make a soft but not sticky dough.
6.Cut into 12 pieces and roll into balls with floured hands. Stir the green leek slices into the pork casserole and arrange the dumplings on the top.
7.Cover and cook, still on low, for 1 hour until they are well risen. Spoon into shallow bowls to serve.
8.FOR BEERY PORK WITH ROSEMARY DUMPLINGS, make up the casserole as above, adding 300 ml (2 pint) blonde beer or lager instead of the cider and 200 a (10 oz) mixed diced parsnip, carrot and swede instead of the carrot and anple,
9.Flavour with 2 rosemary sprigs instead of the sage and add 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary instead of sage to the dumplings.

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