Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Pork Stew

Happy Tuesday! My laptop is out of commission, and of course, it's what I write my blog on and have all my pictures on, blah, blah, blah. So, in order for you to have delicious food to read about--and hopefully be inspired to make--I've reposted a recipe from a year ago. Enjoy! And send good, laptop-fixing thoughts my way :)

Ah, pork, the delicious, sweet meat from sus domesticus, or the common domesticated pig. A staple in the American grocery store for who knows how long (forever?), sus domesticus has, in recent months, come under very close scrutiny because of it's most unfortunate association with the H1-N1 virus, or Swine Flu (thank you, media).

However, I'm trilled to report the CDC has concluded the H1-N1 virus is spread person-to-person, not from pig-to-person, and I want to celebrate the very happy news by sharing this recipe for my Autumn Pork Stew as part of Om-nom-nomivore's week-long tribute to the (whispering) Swine flu. Let's eat some pork!

The pork in this stew, sweet and lovely in it's own right, is complimented by carrots, sweet potatoes, and slightly bitter turnips. Pale ale adds a layer of flavor, and a touch of tarragon, sage, and cloves gives just a hint of herbiness (if that's a word) without taking away from the star of the stew: the pork.

Autumn Pork Stew
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lbs pork for stew
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 small onions, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1 32-oz carton chicken broth
1 12-oz bottle beer (I used a pale ale)
4 carrots, scraped and chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large turnip (about 8 oz), peeled and chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 whole cloves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 sweet potato (about 8 oz), peeled and chopped
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Trim the pork of any less desirable parts, and cut any large pieces into bite-size ones. Season the meat with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Heat a large pot over medium high heat for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil to the pan and heat for about 10 seconds.

2. Add half of the pork to the pan (don't cheat here and add all of the meat at once; if you crowd the pan the pieces won't be able to brown because they'll steam in each other's juice instead of searing in a dry, hot pot). Once they are down don't try to move them; they need a chance to develop that lovely, flavorful crust that's so yum. After about 3 minutes stir the pork to turn them over, and brown the other side. (Don't worry about cooking the pork all the way through--that's what 2 hours of simmering is for.) Remove the browned meat to a bowl, add 2 more teaspoons of the oil to the pot, and repeat with the rest of the pork. Set all the browned meat aside.

3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pot. Add the garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until the onion has started to soften, 3-5 minutes. Watch the fond (browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot). Super dark brown is good flavor, black is bad (blech) flavor. Adjust the heat if the fond starts to burn.

4. Add the chicken broth and beer, scraping all of the browned bits off the bottom of the pot, and bring it to a high simmer over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, sage, tarragon, cloves, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pork (and any juices that accumulated in the bowl), and bring it back to a high simmer. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar, reduce the heat to low, and barely simmer for 1 hour 10 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and water together. Add the flour slurry and sweet potatoes to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the stew has thickened (stirring occasionally), 35-40 minutes.

Makes about 6 servings.

I served this with Irish soda bread.


  1. Great recipe!!. My husband and I make a green chili stew that is as easy as this one appears. Will definitely add this to my list of winter must haves!!

  2. I came upon this recipe by accident. I made it this evening for dinner. It was soooooo good!!!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  3. Mmmm, I like the addition of sweet potato. It looks fantastic and perfect for a cozy night.

  4. It was... AMAZING!!! My hubby said it was one of the best soups I've ever made :) And the cornbread was great with it! My kids also enjoyed it and they are super picky. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  5. This came out really, really good! The combination of the flavors was great. I actually had fresh tarragon & sage. I especially liked how soupy it was. Try it!

  6. My whole family liked this, including 2 elementary school aged kids. We needed to avoid gluten so I substituted 1/2c spiced cider and 1c water for the beer, skipped the whole cloves(since the cider was spiced), and thickened with tapioca flour. I imagine the beer is really good in it! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thanks so much for coming back and telling me about your stew :) I love to hear from people!


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