Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Stew-Making

Friday: orange pork ragout with beans

It was finally briefly (and blissfully) hot, so the idea of simmering this ragout for hours on the stove was unappealing, at best. Also, I didn't read the recipe thoroughly (a major no-no, I realise) and was planning to use cannellini beans from a big batch I made at the beginning of the week. Given all that, here's what I ended up doing:

Orange Pork Ragout with Beans
Yields 4 servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, in 2-inch chunks
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
juice of 1 orange
3/4 cups dry red wine
1 branch fresh rosemary
3 C cooked cannellini beans (canned beans would work fine, too)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch red chili flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan and brown pork over medium-high heat. Remove. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Sauté over low heat until soft. Stir in paprika and cloves. Stir in orange juice and wine, scraping bottom of pan. Return pork to pan. Add rosemary, black pepper and chili. Bring to a simmer.

3. Cook 10 hours in slow-cooker (my slow-cooker seems to be a little on the cool side so I cooked the ragout on high - for most cookers, I'd advise using the low setting here). Add beans. Cook an additional 4 hours on low. Season with salt. Scatter parsley on top before serving.
The changes I made were mostly standard ones for converting non-slow-cooker recipes to be used with a slow-cooker: half as much liquid (the slow-cooker doesn't evaporate as much as most other cooking methods, so it's easy for dishes to have too much liquid in the pot at the end); half as much spice (they can get intense and bitter when cooked for so long); about 6-8 hours on low for every hour of simmering. Because I didn't want my beans to get mushy, I added them late in the cooking cycle.

Overall, it worked! I wasn't a huge fan of the recipe, but Victor loved it.

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