Why It Works
- Pork shoulder is a flavor-packed and inexpensive cut that becomes fork-tender with slow, moist-heat cooking.
- Coating the meat in mustard before browning it layers on the flavor in one simple step.
- There is very little active work in this recipe—just about 15 minutes. Sear the meat, add the aromatics, and add liquids. Time does the rest.
In this land of beef-eaters, pork stews don't get enough love. This one is an adaptation of a Greek pork and wine stew that I read about in Vefa's Kitchen. Chunks of pork shoulder slow-simmered in wine until meltingly tender and packed with flavor.
Although you might be inclined to use white wine in this hearty, one-pot dish—what with pork being "the other white meat"—stick with a nice, dry red. It really works wonders for this flavorful, fragrant stew. The tomato base contains a heady mix of cayenne, nutmeg, and oregano, offering just a bit of kick—not to mention a certain je ne sais quois. That's in no small part due to the addition of Dijon mustard, which coats the meat before it's initially browned.
You can make this dish more quickly using a cut like pork loin, but it'll be drier and less nuanced. I'd recommend using pork shoulder and investing the time since this humble, simple dish translates into something much more complex with slow and low cooking.
The Vefa's Kitchen recipe that inspired this stew features accompanying trahana, a thick, yogurt-grain mixture with several variations. Instead, I just serve it with a dollop of yogurt on top or eat it as-is ladled over orzo or rice.
Whatever you do, be sure to serve yours with a nice glass of red wine.
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup red wine
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
2 cups cooked rice or orzo
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 275°F (140°C). Season meat generously with salt and pepper and toss with mustard to coat. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering, add meat and sear it on all sides until well browned, about 8 minutes total. When meat is nearly finished browning, reduce heat to medium, and push meat off to the sides of the pan. Add onion and garlic to the center of the pan. Sauté until onions and garlic start softening and become translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add red wine, raise heat to medium-high and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute before adding tomato juice, cayenne, oregano, nutmeg, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
Return to a boil. Then, cover and transfer to the oven to cook until fork-tender, about 4 hours. When meat is tender, remove from the oven, discard bay leaves and serve immediately with rice or orzo.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 32g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||50%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 46mg||228%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|