I was trying to come up with a recipe to use a pork loin roast I had in my freezer. It was the beginning of fall and the temperatures had just started to drop. The time of year I love the most because it is cool enough for me to make and enjoy soups and stews, something I love but not it's not so cold that I freeze my toes off. I love the fall...not so fond of the winter.
Anyway, beef stew is one thing I chomp at the bit every year to make. As soon as the temperature dips I am off to the store to get the required goodies to make my treasured meal. But what to do with this pork? Kevin and I had gone shopping at Costco and they had a deal on the pork roasts. You got 4 roasts in one pack. I like doing that from time to time just to test myself to come up with new recipes and meal ideas.
I decided that if I couldn't make my beef stew I would twist the recipe into a pork stew. Thereby killing two birds with one stone (hopefully) coming up with a meal to use the pork in and enjoying a nice bowl of stew.
One of the things I love in my beef stew recipe is, I use an entire bottle of red wine. Have I mentioned I love wine? If you look at my ingredients list for the recipes I have posted you will see red and white wine listed quite a bit. So it only seemed logical that I use a entire bottle of white wine in the pork stew.
OK, recipe written and off to the store I go to grab a few things I needed. Now I am standing in the wine area wondering what white wine to use. I know what I like to drink, and normally you should use a wine you enjoy the flavor of because cooking with it will concentrate the flavor. But I realized that my favorite white wine, a pinot grigio, would not be complimentary to the flavors in the recipe. Now I am looking in the chardonnays. I knew I wanted a good dry white wine, the problem, I am not a huge chardonnay fan so I really don't know much about them. Lucky for me the wine guy was there and he pointed me in the direction of Kendal Jackson. He said it was one of the top selling chardonnays and it was not that expensive. I took his word and bought two bottles, one for the stew one for me (hey the cooks gotta have fun too!).
I have to say that I was very pleased with how this stew came out. Everyone was tasting the broth before it was ready and the chorus of yummmm, mmmmmmm, WOW this is good, made me a very happy little camper. Now I have two stew recipes to look forward to every fall!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 to 3 pounds pork loin roast, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bottle good quality dry white wine (recommended: Chardonnay)
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 9 small gold potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Toasted French Bread, recipe follows, for serving
- Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed pork with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the pork chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all the tasty browned bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, garlic, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and vegetable stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, onions and celery. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl and garnish with parsley. Right before serving add a slice of Toasted French Bread, half way submerged in the stew.
Toasted Peasant Bread:
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, halved
- Chopped parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the bread slices on a sheet pan. Drizzle the bread with the extra-virgin olive oil bake for 5 minutes, until the bread is nicely toasted. Rub the bread slices with the garlic cloves, and discard garlic. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.