Monday, 14 March 2016
Fruity pork stew
It has been a mild weather for winter, but a bit on the cold front in March. Quite a few mornings I woke up to see a frozen puddle on our kitchen roof (I can see it from the bathroom window). On days like this you crave some comfort foods like soups and stews. It has to be thick and hearty, and bursting with flavours.
Fruity pork stew
4tbsp olive oil
600g pork (shoulder steaks, cut into strips)
1tsp plain flour
1/2tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
1 vegetable stock cube
a small handful of dried apricots
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g, I used Cirio chopped tomatoes)
5tbsp green lentils
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 chorizo stick
2 medium potatoes
Cut the pork shoulder into strips and coat with a dusting of plain flour. Brown the pork on all sides in a deep frying pan with the olive oil. Add the fennel seeds, black pepper, bay leaves, a crumbled stock cube (I used a Knorr vegetable stock cube), a handful of sliced dried apricots and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add the lentils and pour enough water to cover all the ingredients.
Finely slice an onion and fry it with chopped chorizo stick for about 5 minutes. Add to the stew with 1 stoned and sliced fresh peach. Season with salt (but taste first, as the stock cube already has some salt).
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an hour+. Add the peeled and chopped potatoes in the last half an hour of cooking. Check once in a while and add more water.
Serve hot, with a chunky bread to mop up all the juices.
Pork benefits from the sweetness of fruit, smokiness of chorizo and tart notes of tomatoes. You can substitute dried apricots for prunes or raisins, and swap a peach for an apple.
Just the other day I read that Fiona from London Unattached has cooked a different version of the pork stew - check out her recipe for a delicious pork, white bean and chorizo casserole.
Not surprising that on colder days we fancy comfort food.
In this recipe I used a tin of Cirio Chopped Tomatoes. I have already mentioned Cirio on my blog, as it is a great Italian range of tomato products. I love their tinned pomodorini (cherry tomatoes), and have tried quite a few of their products, all of which bring authentic Italian flavours to our tables.
Cirio as a brand has a long history, going back to 1856. Their tomato products are a welcome addition to any pantry, either basic or well-stocked. It's always handy to have a couple of tins in the kitchen, so you can rustle up a great tasting pasta sauce, ragu, soup or stew.
Disclosure: I received a selection of Cirio products for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.