Thin pork loin steaks, cooked with sautéed onions, apples and prunes, is a progression dish, based on our beloved pork cutlets, cooked in the oven on a bed of vegetables and apples. As an oven cooked dish it requires several preparation steps with sealing the cutlets themselves on a frying pan followed by further cooking in the oven. Once, on a hot day, I did not want to use oven and opted for cooking cutlets in a deep casserole pan on a cook-top. Several prunes added to onion and apples mix took the sauce to the next level in flavour combination. The natural next step was to try the dish with another pork cut.
The sauce can be left nearly as chunky ragout, served as a side dish on a plate, as I did with pork cutlets, or it can be blended into fine sauce to be poured over the meat.
Any cut of pork prepared in apple and prune sauce can be served on a bed of rice, quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, your favourite pasta or potatoes, mash or otherwise.
The dish has minimum ingredients for such an intense and vibrant sweet and sour taste. It is cooked in one pot for 60-70 minutes for thin loin steaks and up to 2 hours for thick cutlets.
- 2 onions
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
- 500g tray of thinly cut pork loin steaks
- 10-12-14 pitted prunes, depends on how sweet you like your sauce
- 1 table spoon of garlic, sweet chilli and hot chilli homemade preserve (can be replaced by medium heat chilli with seeds and 3-4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
- pinch of fennel seeds
- pinch of cumin seeds
- pinch of coarse black pepper
- sea salt for seasoning
- 1 table spoon olive oil (or olive oil with butter mix)
- water/chicken stock
Water is fine to use for this dish, but as I always have an oversupply of homemade chicken stock, I used it in this particular case.
- alternatively use pork cutlets
- wash and dry pork loin steaks/cutlets
- heat oil in a casserole pan
- add fennel and cumin seeds
- slice onion in semi-circles and saute them on medium/low heat until translucent, season with sea salt and black pepper after 2-3 minutes of initial frying
- place meat over sautéed onions
- peel and core apples, slice them thinly and evenly
- apply layer of apple slices over meat
- add pitted prunes
- add garlic and chilli preserve (or individual spices)
- pour boiling water to cover meat with apples and prunes (I used cold chicken stock)
- cook until boiling point on medium heat, reduce heat to low
- semi-cover with lid allowing to escape the steam, and cook for 1-2 hour, depending on meat cut
- we like our pork to be cook until it nearly falls apart
- rest the dish for 15-20 minutes covered
- take the meat out
- collect apple, onion and prune stew and blend it to make fine sauce
You will have plenty of sauce to be used with other meat or poultry dishes. This time I served pork loin steaks with simple fresh vegetable salad, which included fresh, uncooked yellow beetroot, thinly sliced.
Oven cooked pork cutlets, especially on cooler days, I like to serve with individually portioned potato gratin.