In this stew, the parsnips are diced and then cooked with the onions and apples until they start to brown. That allows the vegetable to develop its sweetness before the slow cooking of the meat.
The recipe calls for boneless, country-style pork chops. The cut comes from the end of loin and typically is more suitable for braising than the leaner "white"-meat sections of the loin. Cubed pork shoulder also can be used.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 3 to 4 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil
- 3 pounds boneless country-style pork chops or pork shoulder, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium (about 4 to 5 ounces each) onion, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
- 1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
Coat the bottom of a large saute pan or skillet with some of the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add enough of the pork cubes to fill the pan without crowding. Brown the pieces of meat in batches, turning each piece at least once, and then transfer to a bowl. Continue with the remaining pork, adding oil as needed, until all the cubes have browned; this will take 20 to 30 minutes.
While the pork cubes are being browned, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a large (5-quart or larger) pot. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until the onions soften, then add the parsnips and apples. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until the parsnips, onions and apples all soften and begin to brown. Add the flour and stir to coat thoroughly. Add the chicken broth, then add the mustard and brown sugar, stirring to combine.
When all the pork has browned and has been transferred to the bowl, increase the heat to high under the saute pan or skillet and add the vermouth or wine to deglaze. Use a spatula to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom and sides of the pan. Transfer this mixture and the pork to the pot; taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Bring the liquid in the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low so it bubbles gently in the center. If the liquid does not fully cover the meat, add water as needed; maintain the heat so the stew does not boil. Cook, uncovered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, skimming off any foam that accumulates on the surface, until the meat and vegetables are tender. (At this point, the stew may be transferred to a container; cool the container in an ice-water bath, then cover it and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
When ready to serve, garnish with chopped chives, if desired.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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