Monday, March 23, 2020

Spring Pork Stew

  I was looking for some lovely colorful Springtime recipes, and I happened upon this one from Martha Stewart. It's exactly what I wanted! Lots of fresh vegetables in a rainbow of colors, and a light sauce to pull it all together. It's the perfect thing when you're looking for something hearty but not too heavy. Btw, this can also be tweaked to make a meatless meal, if that's what you're going for. In fact, I think this qualifies as completely vegan if you leave out the pork and use vegetable stock instead of chicken. Tbh, you won't even miss the meat. It's just that good! It comes together pretty quickly too! Light, healthy, colorful, fresh, and hearty! That works for me!! Pretty sure it'll work for you too!

1 lb lean pork roast or stew meat, trimmed of fat, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 yellow squash, sliced into half moons
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 (28oz) can plum tomatoes
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
 Rice for serving

 Heat oil in a high-sided skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork; saute stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate; cover.
 Place 1/2 cup stock, garlic, onion, celery, and carrots in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, squash, and peppers. Toss well; cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
 Stir in remaining 1/2 cup stock and tomatoes with juice, breaking tomatoes apart with a spoon. Stir in thyme and parsley.
 Return pork to pan, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until pork and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve over rice.

-Instead of adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, I just let all the veggies saute for a bit, and then added the broth at the same time as the tomatoes. It allowed the veggies to form some browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and then I used the liquid to deglaze the pan. Turned out great!
-You definitely want to use FRESH herbs. There's just no comparison, especially when you're making a fairly quick sauce. I usually save the dried herbs for the sauces that simmer low and slow all day.
-Be sure to taste it and adjust your seasoning accordingly. It might need a little more salt than you think it will. You could even add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes for a little spicy kick!
-This recipe can easily be done with boneless chicken instead of pork. I think I would dredge the pieces of boneless chicken in a bit of seasoned flour first, and then saute until they're partially but not completely cooked through. Then let them cook the rest of the way when you add them back into the pan and simmer everything together.
-For the most flavorful rice, use chicken broth instead of water. Just use twice as much broth as rice, bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce it to low for about 15-18 minutes. Sometimes I like to saute finely mined onions in some butter first, then add the rice and broth. Best. Rice. EVER!

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