Pork, apple and cider stew with cheddar dumplings

There is nothing better than a warming bowl of homemade stew on a cold, rainy day. Victoria makes her pork stew recipe with apple and Somerset cider to help cut through the rich, meaty flavour, and adds pillowy cheddar dumplings on top for an extra comforting finish.

First published in 2016

This dumpling-topped stew is a real crowd-pleaser and so easy to make. Crisp, sweet and tart apples against tangy, creamy Cheddar and soft pork is both comforting and refreshing. This recipe is simple to prepare, but takes a little time to cook, which is no great hardship, as you can get on with putting your feet up while supper gently simmers.




Pork, apple and cider stew

  • 1kg pork shoulder, cut into cubes
  • 2 onions, finely sliced into half moons
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1l cider, preferably Somerset cider (I used Chaplin & Cork’s Somerset Reserve Cider)
  • 1 handful of sage, chopped, or 2tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil, or sunflower oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

Cheddar dumplings


Begin by making the stew. Fry the onions, leek, garlic and celery in oil in a cast iron casserole dish or large ovenproof saucepan until soft and slightly golden
Throw in the pork and stir to brown. Add the apples and allow to fry for a couple of minutes, before generously seasoning. If you’re using dried sage, add it to the pot now, before pouring over the cider. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes before stirring through the fresh sage, if using
To make the dumplings, combine the flour (there’s no need to sift it), suet, salt, pepper and half of the cheese in a mixing bowl. Add enough water to make a dough and roll 8–10 dumplings between your hands. Pop them on top of your pork and apples, put on a lid and leave to simmer for a further 20 minutes
Just before serving, scatter over the remaining cheese and pop under a hot grill until the cheese melts and turns slightly golden. Serve with green vegetables

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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