Sunday, March 7, 2010

Adriana's Pork Stew

Winter Stew--the ultimate comfort food. But not your usual beef stew.
I remember telling you that I would give you some ideas for dishes to serve with polenta, something with lots of sauce. This pork stew, which I learned from Adriana many years ago, has been a mainstay in my kitchen every fall and winter when its chilly and rainy or snowy outside. It is very easy, and unusual. Since Adriana didn't measure ingredients, neither do I, so amounts are approximate. But don't worry, you cannot mess this up. Whatever you do, it will be delicious.

Adriana's Pork Stew
Buy some pork stewing meat and trim it well of excess fat, or buy a pork butt roast and cut your own stew meat. You will need about one inch square pieces of meat.
Put a little oil (I use canola) into the bottom of your pot and when it's good and hot, brown the meat. Remember Julia Child's tip--make sure each piece is dried off or it won't brown, it will just sort of boil in its own juices.
Remove the meat and add to the pot one onion and two green peppers, roughly chopped, not too small. Saute until onion is translucent.
Now put the meat back in.
Add a can of peeled Italian plum tomatoes, more or less to your taste.
Put in a couple of Bay leaves (I have a tree in my backyard).
Now here's the kicker! Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and some salt. Taste it. Maybe it needs more vinegar or more salt.
The vinegar gives the stew a delicious, unusual flavour, and serves to tenderize the meat. I sometimes add as much as 1/4 cup.
Now add 3 or 4 potatoes cut in good-sized chunks, depending on how many people you're feeding.
Simmer for at least one hour. Check for doneness. Continue simmering.
This is a one-pot meal, with the addition of a salad or sliced cucumbers or tomatoes dressed lightly with oil and vinegar.
Isn't it delicious! Thank you, Adriana, wherever you are.

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