If there had previously been any doubts in my mind, those doubts are gone- it is fall and we have the cold weather to prove it! That’s right, my friends. It’s almost as though we skipped right over the fun parts of fall. Those fun parts you see plastered all over Pinterest with Basic Becky wearing her boots and circle scarf sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Lattes and it’s actually warm enough to enjoy being outdoors. Around here, that part of Fall lasts approximately ten minutes and I’m pretty sure I missed it when I was enjoying the sunshine in the Bahamas. But this chilly weather ushers in the season of foods to warm your bones, like this Pork Stew.
Before a few weeks ago, it had never occurred to me to make a stew with pork as the base meat. I was never against it, it just wasn’t on my radar. So when a coworker, who is well aware of my love affair with all-things-food, mentioned that she had recently eaten the most delicious Pork Stew at a local pub and that I should try making it, I was immediately interested.
So I did what any slightly food-obsessed creeper would do; I smelled her leftovers (with her permission, of course). They looked and smelled pretty fantastic, as far as leftovers go. So I knew I had to give it a shot.
The first time I made it, I used my slow cooker. I happened to have some pork chops hanging out in my freezer (which is generally always the case) and I know that pork chops and slow cookers go really well together if you want your meat to be fall-apart tender. It was delicious and the meat really was that tender, but it didn’t thicken up very well and I ended up having to transfer it to a pot on the stove to thicken it with a slurry.
So I went back to the drawing board and made it again, this time searing the meat off first for added flavor and sweating out the onions, garlic and carrots before adding the wet components. The results were also delicious, though I needed a knife to cut the meat. J made a good point that the meat didn’t break down the way it did when I used the slow cooker which was nice.
Both ways produce a delicious, savory stew with chunks of carrots and a thick gravy perfect for dipping a crust piece of bread (or five). I like to serve this over boiled potatoes that I’ve smashed with my fork because I don’t love the texture that potatoes take on while they’re cooking for long periods in a stew. So I designed the recipe to have a ton of extra gravy since the potatoes will absorb some of it.
I listed the recipe for stove top cooking but you can always simply mix the ingredients and cook them on low in your slow cooker for around 8 hours and then transfer to a pot on the stove and thicken with a slurry before serving. Either way it’s delicious!
Source: The Life Jolie
- 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, divided
- 3 lg carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 pork chops, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 tbsp flour + and extra Tbsp. or two for your slurry
- 2 cans of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup of peas
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. of pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of thyme
Coat a thick-bottom pan with one tablespoon of olive oil and sweat out your carrots, onions and garlic over medium heat for 5-10 minute or until they’ve softened a bit. Remove from pot and set aside.
Sprinkle your chunks of pork with salt and pepper and toss them in the 4 Tbsp. of flour, leaving extra flour in the bowl once the pork is out. Whisk in your cans of chicken broth and set aside.
Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and sear your pork chunks on each side. Be careful not to crowd the pan.
Once all pork is seared, add vegetables back into the pot and the chicken broth along with the peas salt, pepper and thyme. Stir well and raise the heat a bit to bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour on low heat, stirring periodically.
In the last 10 minutes of that hour, mix a little more flour with a small amount of water (a slurry) and stir into the stew to thicken. Enjoy!
You can find a full index of my recipes here.
Don’t forget to follow The Life Jolie on Pinterest for more recipe inspiration!