Mediterranean Pork Stew
- serves 4-6
The Mediterranean version of Chef Michael Smith's variations on pork stew.
1 4-lb bone-in pork shoulder
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 heads garlic cloves, whole
2 bay leaves
4 cup water
1 tsp saltFor the Mediterranean Flavours
1 19 oz can diced tomatoes
1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup your favourite black olives, pitted
2 Tbsp or so of dried oregano
1 10 oz bag baby spinach
½ 454 g box rigatoni pasta, cooked and drained
2-4 oz of Grana Padano Parmesan cheese
1. For the basic pork stew begin by preheating your oven to 300ºF and turn on your convection fan if you have one.
2. Place a heavy Dutch oven or large stew pot over medium-high heat and splash in enough oil to swirl and coat the bottom with a thin film. Carefully add the pork roast to the hot oil and commence Operation Browning. Continue, turning the works as needed until the meat is evenly browned on all sides. Be patient! This is the only opportunity you’ll have to add the rich flavours of browned meat to the dish before the coming liquids are added and lower the temperature. When the roast is evenly browned, add the carrot, onion, garlic, salt, bay leaf and water. Continue heating until the braising broth comes to a full simmer. Turn off the heat. Cover and transfer to the oven to slowly braise, tenderize and flavourize, 5 full hours. Reverently remove from the oven, carefully remove the top and behold your achievement!
3. Using a pair of tongs remove the bones and cartilage. Shred the remaining meat and stir together the stew. You have a lot of food. Enough to divide into two different meals. Here’s how. Remove and reserve half the proceeds for another meal then make tonights dinner with the remaining stew in the pot.For the Mediterranean Flavours
1. Return the stew to the stovetop and stir until the works is simmering over medium heat yet again. Pile in the themed ingredients, the tomatoes, chickpeas, olives and oregano. Stir the works together and continue cooking long enough to heat everything through and perhaps a few minutes longer as the flavours intensify. Meanwhile cook your favourite pasta, drain it and toss it with the waiting sauce and all the baby spinach until the tender green leaves wilt. Serve and share.