Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe Time!

Here's one our family LOVES!!! I stole it from Rachel Ray and tweeked it for good measure!

Early Autumn Stew

  • 2 pork tenderloins, silver skin removed (you can have a butcher do this for you) and cut into 2-inch cubes (sometimes it's cheaper to buy thick chops, watch the sales and get a good cheap piece, with the browning and boiling it will be plenty tender!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 2-inch dice (we cut ours to 1 inch, so it will fit in the kids mouths!)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch dice (again ditto)
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch dice (Yep, here too, except cut in half lengthwise, then in 1/2" slices)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 McIntosh apples, peeled or unpeeled and cut into 2-inch dice (These I'd keep at least an inch, or they'll fall apart in the cooking!)
  • 2 pinches allspice
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups cloudy apple cider (You can use organic, or pressed cider the kind with the stuff on the bottom of the jar)
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (depending on how thick you like your stew)
  • 1 loaf crusty bread

Pre-heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat with two tablespoons of EVOO, about two turns of the pan.

Place the pieces of tenderloin onto a sheet tray (You can also put the flour, salt and pepper in a gallon zip lock and throw in the meat to toss. It's less messy and you can throw it away when your done!) and season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss with flour until well-coated.

Once ripples appear in the oil and it starts to very lightly smoke(make sure it's good and hot first! If you do this in the large pot your cooking the stew in you can deglaze it with the applecider and stir up the brown bits for flavor), add the pork to the pot and sear it until well-browned on all sides, 7-8 minutes (lots of brown bits will remain on the bottom of the pot). Remove the meat to a platter and reserve.

Add the remaining two tablespoons of EVOO to the pot along with the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the vegetables until they begin to tenderize, about 6-8 minutes then add in the apples, allspice and cranberries, and cook until the vegetables are quite tender, 3-5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the cider, scraping up the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add in the chicken stock and toss the pork back into the hot tub. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pull out the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the pot and discard them.

To serve, line the bottom of six bowls with chunks of bread. Ladle the stew on top of the bread and enjoy! (We don't eat on the bread, but serve it on the side. We like the stew thick and don't have too much juice to spare for the bread!)

1 comment:

  1. This is Risa, from restlessrisa. (You can delete this if it is more info than you want on your public blog.)I read your post last night, and wanted to check out your blog. By the way... these recipes look delish! I am going to follow :) I wanted to say... my heart is breaking for you :( A loss is a loss no matter the gestation. I am on my 6th pregnancy, and I have 2 living kids. I lost one at 6 weeks, and one at 9 weeks, and then Molly at 20 weeks. I am sure it is heartbreaking to watch the heartbeat slow over the weeks - I can't even imagine! I am so sorry. I am sure it is like you want to hope for the best, but don't dare. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. I was reading the quotes on the side of your page. I love the ones about babies in prayer... My kids (in every prayer, food or other) bless the baby to "grow strong and healthy and not die." Sweet how important it is to them. Sometimes I go through stuff, and find an old ultrasound from one of my losses, and it brings back the reminder of how life might be if that baby was still here. I am hoping your baby will still be here :) Best wishes for the future, and I am glad to have met you in blog land :)