in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Pork Stew

I know that Lamb stew is the stew of choice on St. Patrick's Day but I didn't have any lamb on hand. So Pork Stew would have to do. This recipe fuses some Native American with some African and Asian influences. The combination works quite well. I served it over quinoa but it would be terrific over polenta, couscous, rice or served with flat bread or tortillas.
Pork Stew (using a slow cooker)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup diced apple, peeled, (Fuji or Gala preferred)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour)
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork loin
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
Place the chopped veggies and apple in the bottom of a slow cooker. Mix the flour, masa harina, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin together in a shallow bowl. Cut the pork into 1 1/2 inch chunks, removing excess fat, and dredge in the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess flour. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot, melt coconut oil in it. Place pork chunks in hot oil and allow to sear deep brown on one side then turn with tongs and sear at least one other side, cooking pork for 3 or 4 minutes. Place pork on top of veggies in slow cooker. Measure 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture into a small dish. Whisk in 2/3 cup cold water, cider vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomato paste and ginger. Pour sauce mixture on top of meat and veggies. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low, stirring at about 2 hours and 4 hours. Serve over prepared quinoa.
Hints: This cooks down to about half volume at the end. Browning the meat is a critical step in making a good slow cooker dish. This recipe would also work well in a dutch oven, finished on the stove top or in the oven. In that case, brown the pork in the dutch oven then add the veggies and sauce and cook with low heat until tender, probably 3 or 4 hour. You can simulate masa harina with corn meal processed in a blender until powdery. If you don't like the permeating smell of the slow cooked meal in your whole house, I found a trick--plug it in on the patio or in the garage! It will cook just fine but the smell will dissipate outdoors. (I have not done this when it is very cold out, which may change the cooking time, I'm not sure.)
It is very nice to use a slow cooker once in a while. I like to make beans from scratch and a slow cooker is the way I prefer. Being able to work for a few minutes in the morning and have the assurance of a nice dinner to come is delightful some days.


  1. Yum! And beans in the slow cooker huh? Should there be another recipe coming for that one?

    1. It really was yum--even as leftovers for lunch today. Click on the "beans" link to see how I do black beans. And yes! More to come!

  2. I made this today. It was so good. I left out the bell pepper and ginger root because I didn't have any and I added Mexican squash and potato. We ate it as is.