Crafted cider is very popular in many countries. Cider makers are still rare in Switzerland, but here and there you can now find craft cider made from local apples, while some farmers are taking their first steps with elegant apple wines. I have even seen cider as a fruity alternative to Prosecco at celebrations. Of course you can also cook with cider, which gives a fruitier flavour than white wine and is excellent with pork, for example. Jacques Perritaz from Le Mouret (Fribourg), in my opinion one of the best Swiss cider producers, often replaces wine with his carefully fermented apple juice in his kitchen, for example when preparing fish in foil or even fondue. If you want to try cooking with cider, here is one of my favourite recipes, learned years ago on a cookery course at River Cottage, the culinary home of top English chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall:

Ingredients for 4 people
500 g pork shoulder, cubed
200 g diced bacon
1 leek, cut into slices about 1 cm thick
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sprig of rosemary
200 ml cider
300 – 400 ml vegetable stock
200 ml cream
2 tsp coarse mustard
2 apples, chopped into pieces
A little butter

To prepare
Gently cook the meat (shoulder and bacon) until a brown crust forms (use a little oil if necessary). Add the leek, garlic and rosemary and sauté until everything is glazed. Pour over the cider  nd briefly reduce the liquid. Add stock until the meat is just covered. Simmer for at least one hour, adding more stock if required. When the meat is tender, add the cream and mustard (do not continue to cook). Sauté the apple in a little butter and add to the meat. Serve with mashed potatoes.

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