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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

French-Style Pork Stew

A couple of weeks ago I watched America's Test Kitchen on PBS. The following is one of the featured recipes from the episode "French Style Dutch Oven Dinners." It is quite a meaty stew and in the future I think I will use less meat and add more cabbage and potatoes. But I will post it as appears on the website. I encourage you to search out the ham shank or hocks (or a left-over ham bone) since this ingredient adds both flavor and a silky mouth feel.


French-Style Pork Stew

Adapted from: America's Test Kitchen
Serves: 8-10 (easily halved if needed)

6 parsley springs, plus 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
3 large sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 teas dried thyme)
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 bay leaves
1 T black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
5 c water
4 c chicken broth
3 pounds boneless pork butt roast (or shoulder) trimmed of fat and cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 meaty smoked ham shank or 2-3 smoked ham hocks (1 1/4 pounds)
2 onions, halved through root end, root end left intact
4 carrots, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (waxy potatoes are better than russet)
12 oz. kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and then cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded (8 cups) (savoy has a milder flavor but you can substitute regular cabbage, if necessary)

Preheat oven to 325F. Cut a 10-inch square of triple-thickness cheesecloth. Place parsley springs (fold or break to fit), thyme sprigs, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves in the center of cheesecloth and tie into a bundle with kitchen twine. (If you don't have cheesecloth, I suggest you tie the herb sprigs and bay leaves together with twine so they can be removed later. Smash the garlic and substitute ground pepper and cloves, although I'm not certain on amounts--use only a little powdered cloves.)

Bring water, broth, pork, ham, onions, and herb bundle to simmer in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, skimming off scum that rises to the surface. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook until the pork pieces are tender and a skewer inserted in the meat meets little resistance, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the ham to a plate. Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Cover and return to the oven. Cook until the vegetables are almost tender, 20-25 minutes. When the ham is cool enough to handle, remove the meat, and using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces; discard skin and bones.

Add the shredded ham, kielbasa, and cabbage to the pot. Stir to combine, cover, and return to the oven. Cook until the kielbasa is heated through and the cabbage is wilted and tender, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped parsley. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread. The stew can be made up to 3 days in advance.


  1. Do I see pink meat in the photo?????

    1. This is what I get for having a cheap camera. It doesn't look as pink on my computer screen in my photo file. There was pink meat (the sausage and ham) but the pork was kind of tan because it doesn't get browned ahead of time. It was fully cooked after having been in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

      Glad to know you are looking with a critical eye--at least you're looking! ;)