As the calendar turns, I look forward to Megan’s round-up what foods to eat each month. When, I looked at the October round-up, I could not help smiling, She mentions pork along with obvious options such as squash and apples. I am not yet ready for the cast iron skillet, although, I do begin to use it especially for desserts before the end of the year. This weekend was about my slow cooker. When I am out and about, as a lot of you know, I am very reliant on my slow cooker and pork is usually my meat of choice for the slow cooker. It has a little more texture than chicken and tends to compliment all the autumn and winter roots well. There are so many things I want to do and have to do before the season winds down, it is wonderful to be able to count of dinner being ready and waiting for you. Fall is a perfect time for simmering and stewing as the fall spices of cinnamon and bay leaves that I have used in this recipe works well with slow cooking to infuse their lovely soft sweetness into the food.
Today’s stew has a very relaxed flavor profile, it could fit in quite comfortable in many settings, the seasonings here are simple – cumin, ginger, garlic, onions and red cayenne pepper. I often pair it with an Indian style chunky salad, that we call a kachoomber, although it can be often confused for a salsa. I add the spices a little later in the cooking process sometimes, reserving some of the earlier stew for my children. The magic ingredient in this stew is chopped prunes, which make for a gentle touch of sweetness, not as sweet as raisins or tart and mellow as apricots. Adding the salad is purely optional, but I love the color and crunch of pomegranate seeds and you can find the recipe for this right here on my blog.
The garden surprisingly received a jolt from the few warm days that we had mid-week and ripened a few tomatoes and added a nice touch of color to the peppers and even surprised us with a few eggplants. Looks like that will make for another week of self sustained eating for us, my goal is to try to sustain the household until Thanksgiving, but some years have been better for us than others, so this year with about 6 more weeks to go, I shall fill you in on how we are doing every week.
A hearty one dish slow cooker meal that marries pork, root vegetables and a touch of sweetness from prunes.
- 3 tomatoes or 1 cup strained tomatoes
- 3 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 medium sized white onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
- 2 pods garlic, minced
- Salt to taste
- 2 green serrano chilies, finely chopped
- 1 pound of pork, loin or shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup of white dried canneleni beans
- 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup of chopped dried prunes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 mild red chilies such as Ancho peppers
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 lime
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Pomegranate and Corn Salsa
- Place the tomatoes in a blender and grind to a paste.
- Pour into a slow cooker and add in the tomatoes, onion, ginger and garlic and the salt and mix well.
- Stir in the green chilies and set to 8 hours of low cooking.
- After about 3 hours the mixture should be simmering add in the pork and canneleni beans with potatoes and carrots and let this cook for another 4 hours.
- Add in the prunes, sugar and some more water if needed.
- Heat the chilies and the cumin in a small skillet and grind into a powder.
- Stir into the stew and cook for another hour.
- Cut the lime, stir in the cilantro and mix well.
- Serve with the salsa and rice if desired.