Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe: Farmhouse Pork Stew. Good for your tummy!

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. – Voltaire

Photo: foto footprints, Flickr ccl
Sometimes you just want something to eat that makes you smile because it tastes so good. Pork stew (or beef stew) are prime candidates. Today was rainy and damp all day (much like most of the month…) so it was time to bring out the big guns.

Stews have been made since time immemorial. Stew, as we would recognize it, was mentioned by Herodotus in his The Histories, the first collected work of history which is known to have survived.

Softening the onions and browning
the meat add important flavour.
The best cuts of meat to use are ones with fat marbling as the long slow cook renders it out giving a moist tender stew. Low fat cuts will dry out and be tough. Stews generally have less liquid than soups. 

Many add thickener to give more body to the broth but the following recipe gives the potatoes time to break down slightly to be a natural thickener. Frying the onions first gives the stew a little more complexity. Often they are added with the vegetables and just boiled.

There really is nothing like a good stew to lift the spirits on a dreary day. I am writing as the stew is cooking and the kitchen is being filled with wonderful aroma. Hopefully it will do the trick and make us a little happier on this overcast day.

You can add a little more butter at he table if you really want to make a rich broth.

Recipe: Farmhouse Pork Stew
Time: 35-40 min  |  Makes 4 servings first course, or 2 for main meal

If you add too much stock you'll have soup. The level needs
to be below the vegetables and meat.
1 lb cubed pork, from pork loin chops, or other marbled meat
1 medium onion, chopped large
4 potatoes, peeled and cut medium size
3 carrots, peeled and cut medium size
1 parsnip, peeled and cut medium size
beef broth (see recipe and picture for amount)
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter

Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the pork and cook until it begins to brown and is no longer pink.

Add the vegetables. Add only enough stock to come below the vegetables (see picture). Too much stock won’t allow the potatoes to thicken the broth.

Finished and ready to eat!
Add thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt at this point as beef broths have varying salt levels depending on if it’s homemade or the brand. 

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes have started to break down and go into the broth.

Serve with crusty buttered bread and more salt and pepper at the table.


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