Do you ever cook for young men? Isn’t it fun?
Brian‘s been home for a few weeks preparing for a trip to Asia. Several of his twentysomething buddies have been around, too. I’ve been having the best time cooking “man food” to share with them.
They are carnivores. And they can pack away a lot of food. They’re easy to please and appreciative. Brian is a terrific foodie and we have a great time collaborating in the kitchen.
Bob and I travelled to Florida last weekend (details soon), and Brian offered to cook for us when we got home Sunday night. He marinated and sautéed pork tenderloin, and served it over garlicky cauliflower puree, with wilted spinach. It was perfect, tender and delicious. I decided to dazzle him with something similarly savory for his going-away dinner.
We discussed the options, and decided on a slow cooked stew of pork shoulder with leeks, onions, and cranberries in a white wine, orange, and mustard sauce. I served it with cauliflower risotto, and sautéed rainbow chard with currants and toasted pine nuts.
Slow Pork Stew
This stew may be made in a Dutch oven or in a slow cooker.
3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1 lb cranberries
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock, divided
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tbs. dijon mustard
1 tbs cornstarch
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven. Add half the pork, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, till browned, about 5 minutes; it won’t be cooked through. Remove to a bowl, and repeat with remaining pork. Add to bowl. There should be some fat remaining in the pot.
Saute, the onion and leek for about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries, sugar, wine, orange juice and zest, mustard, and half the stock, and return the pork to the pot. Bring to boil. Cover.
Heat the oven to 275°. Bake the stew for 3 hours until the pork is very tender. Alternatively, transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 4 hours; then put back into Dutch oven.
Put Dutch oven on the stovetop and bring to simmer. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup stock, and add to stew. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until sauce is thickened. Serve.
This stew is terrific with a simple green veg and a piece of good, crusty bread. Or serve it over egg noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, polenta, or spaetzle.