Stews are misunderstood.
They’re easy to make, flexible, nutritious and cook in one pot, making clean-up a breeze.
Why so many people are skeptical of stews, thinking them, somehow, not worthy of a true gastronomic experience is a mystery to me.
Of course, first one has to get past the idea that stew always means beef and potatoes.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the traditional…..
Chicken is great for stews. It’s tender without the slow-cooking needed for beef. Add some North African spices for a different spin.
Pork is extremely versatile, tenderloin can be cooked quickly and tougher cuts can be braised and ignored for hours.
Game also works well – if you can find it.
Wild Boar and Celeriac Stew (or regular pork loin)
Add some legumes to the mix for a change….
A simple stew – put everything in the pot and let it cook. This has just a hint of North African flavors (despite the pork).
8oz (250gr) lean pork, boneless chops or tenderloin
2 medium potatoes
1 cup chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) white wine
1 cup (8oz, 240gr) chicken stock
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs maizena dissolved in 2 tbs water
Cut pork into 1 1/2″ (4cm) pieces. Roughly chop onion. Mince garlic and ginger. Roll-cut carrots (cut the end off at an angle, roll 1/4 turn and slice at the same angle, roll 1/4 and slice, etc.) Quarter the potatoes the long way then cut in half or thirds depending on size. Put in a bowl of water to avoid discoloring.
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin, paprika, onion, pork and brown quickly. Add garlic, ginger and sauté 1 minute. Add carrots, rosemary, fennel seeds, wine, stock, tomato paste and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add potatoes, chickpeas and simmer 30 minutes longer, just until vegetables are tender. Pierce vegetables with a fork or sharp knife to see if they are done; if not simmer another 5 – 10 minutes.Dissolve cornstarch in chicken stock. Uncover, increase heat and add cornstarch, stirring until sauce is thickened. Serve directly from pot or ladle into serving bowl.