Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn pork stew

Fall has arrived, and for me, it's time for slow-cooked food -- stews, chili, and so on.

I had the gang over for dinner last Saturday night, and made a big pot of pork stew, served with buttered egg noodles.  It's perfect for a crowd, because I can make it well ahead and reheat it at serving time, and the stew is rich and satisfying and everyone loves it.

Here's the recipe, which I've posted before:  Dave's pork stew

I used boneless country-style spare ribs and thick slices of pork shoulder.  (I got them at the supermarket -- look around the meat case where they stock the "warehouse store" sized packages.)  You'll notice that the pork I used is nicely marbled. You wouldn't want to use pork loin for a recipe like this. 

Again, my shortcut is this:  you want to brown the meat, but to brown cubes of meat is frankly tedious.  I brown the whole cuts, let them cool, and then cube them. 

Instead of beer that I have in the posted recipe, I used half a bottle of white wine, and a quart of rich chicken stock for the cooking liquid.  (And by rich chicken stock, I mean homemade stock that I've boiled down and concentrated.) 

Some photos from this go-round:

Boneless ribs, sauteing in the pot.
 
Nicely browned meat.
Inch-thick slices of pork shoulder, just starting to brown in the pot. 
Pork shoulder is the same cut that is used for southern barbecue and pulled pork.

The large, enameled cast-iron pot I used for this recipe.  

After all the meat is browned, the 'fond' at the bottom of the pot remains.  

 Cubed parsnip.  Try parsnips. Really.  Like carrots on steroids. 

Onion, garlic, carrot, celery, parsnip.  In the pot.  

Bay leaf, rosemary, thyme.

Meat, cubed. 

The finished stew, after three hours of slow cooking in a 300°F oven.

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