Carolina Pork, Sweet Potato, and Apple Stew

We’ve returned to Pig: King of the Southern Table for another culinary adventure.  It was a good idea (good pick, husband).  This stew did take a while to simmer, I’ll admit.  But the active prep time wasn’t bad.  So if you can just get motivated for 10-20 minutes at the start of the cooking process, you can enjoy hours of good smells as the dish simmers away on the stove.

Our only edit in this recipe?  Well, we didn’t have dried sage, but we did have dried rosemary.  Rosemary it is!  I’m sure it’s also delicious with sage.

It looked roughly like this:

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photo from Pinterest.com

Carolina Pork, Apple, and Sweet Potato Stew (a la Pig: King of the Southern Table)

makes 5-ish servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced (this just melts into the stew for flavor… yum!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried sage or rosemary
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • beef broth as needed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes

Instructions

  • On a plate, dredge the pork in the flour, tapping off excess flour.  In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat.  Brown the pork on all sides and transfer to a bowl.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pot, add the onion and celery, and stir until softened (about 5 minutes).
  • Return the pork to the pot.  Add the apple, sage (or rosemary), wine, salt and pepper, and enough broth to just cover the ingredients.  Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the pork is almost tender (about an hour).  Add the potatoes, stir, return to a simmer, and cook until the pork and potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes).  Seriously.  The pork will be so entirely tender at this point.  It’s kind of amazing.  And very delicious.

So right now, other than cooking, I’m trying to do the following things:

  1. Finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  2. Take the ornaments off of our Christmas tree (yes, our tree is still proudly decorated in our living room).
  3. Deal with major life choices.
  4. Clean up boxes of stuff that we’ve left packed in our basement for a year and a half.

What will I probably get done this week?

  1. Work.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Make dirty dishes.

At least I know the pattern of lists vs. reality, right?  I think that’s a good thing.

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Simple Weeknight Soup: Canadian Bacon, Vegetable, and White Bean Soup

We got home last night at 8:40 and needed to A) feed ourselves and to B) feed some family who had patiently waited for us to eat.  Nice family.

So obviously, at 8:40, we were all pretty hungry.  What did we whip up in a quick half hour?

Canadian Bacon, Vegetable, and White Bean Soup from Pig: King of the Southern Table.

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photo from Amazon.com

Honestly, I don’t like making recipes without a picture of the end result.  I want to know what I’m in for, and that seems fair to me.  But this time, I’m asking you to make a recipe without a picture.

Here’s why…  This recipe is so darn healthy and simple.  There are 6 carrots in 5 servings, so you’re eating at least one full-grown carrot.  And celery and some onion and tomatoes.  Plus a tiny scoop of beans and about 1/16th of a pound of Canadian bacon, which is the less fatty bacon to start with.

There aren’t a ton of extra spices in the recipe, which leaves me with mixed feelings.  On the one hand, there might be less depth of flavor. That other hand, however, is full of good, simple flavor.

Canadian Bacon, Vegetable, and White Bean Soup

makes 4-6 servings (5 for us, so dead on estimation), takes 30-35 minutes (only about 10 of active time)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 pound Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 6 carrots, scraped and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 19-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained (or a 14.5 oz. can, because that’s standard at our local stores)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to a large pot, then heat to medium-high heat.  Add the Canadian bacon, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly.  Add the broth after there’s some color on your veggies and bacon.  Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, beans, and salt and pepper, stir well, return to a simmer, and cook for about ten minutes longer.   Serve the soup piping hot.

If you can’t wait for 30 minutes of simmering, I will attest that this is still tasty with about 15-20 minutes of simmering time.  Probably better with 30, but very good with less.