The sun sets a little earlier and the night air is a little crisper and I, for one, am so happy that fall is in the air. This summer has been brutally hot which doesn’t exactly give me the incentive to get in the kitchen. But, now that fall is in the air, I feel my creative juices coming back to life. Soups and stews are some of my favorite meals. I love walking into an aroma-filled house at the end of the day and utilizing your crock pot is a great way to fill your house with the scent of the mouth-watering promise of a great meal, while allowing you to come home to dinner ready to dish out. How nice is that at the end of a hard day?
Admittedly, I eat very little meat these days (vegan and vegetarian followers I’m really trying!) but my family on the other hand is ever-so-thankful that I continue to cook up a standard meat and potato dinner for them every once in a while. The fork-tender meat, sweet potato and beans combined with savory herbs and vegetables made for a deliciously hearty, fall-flavored stew. It easily made enough for two dinners and lunch for mom and Scott.
I particularly like using sweet potato in this as the flesh is light in color so it stands out against the meat and carrots, but if you can’t readily get sweet potatoes you could use yams but you’d have a fairly orange stew. You could also use a regular white, or even a red potato, but pork is a meat that pairs exceptionally well with a little something sweet, such as apples, yams or sweet potatoes. Remember we eat with our eyes first, so look for a trio of color. Of course, a little bit of fresh minced parsley right before serving would help you accomplish the same goal.
Autumn Pork Stew
Makes 6 Servings
- 2 Lbs Pork Tenderloin (remove silver-skin) and Cut Into 1 ½ “ Cubes
- 1 Cup Dry White Beans (Pick out any broken beans or foreign matter and rinse)
- 2 Medium Yellow Or Sweet Onions, Diced
- 3 Stalks Celery, Cut Into 1” Lengths
- 2 Sweet Potatoes Cut Into 1 1/2 “ Cubes (You Can Also Use Yams)
- 3 Large Carrots Cut Into 1” Lengths
- 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika (Or Regular)
- 1 Teaspoon Dry Italian Seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 6” Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, (Strip Leaves From the Branch)
- 4 6” Sprigs Fresh Thyme, (Strip Leaves From the Branch)
- 6 Fresh Sage Leaves (or 1 Tsp Dried Sage)
- 2 Bay Leaves (Optional)
- 3 Tablespoons Oil – I Suggest Corn, Canola, Grapeseed or Olive Oil
- 32 Ounce Chicken Stock (Note if you have broth which is weaker in flavor than stock you should use all broth instead of the extra 24 oz of water listed below).
- 24 Ounce Water
- Fresh Ground Pepper
Tip: If you don’t know what the silver skin is on a pork tenderloin, lay the meat out on your cutting board and look at the back (the flatter) side. You’ll notice a sinew that runs from one end down along the loin almost to the bottom. Slide a sharp knife underneath the sinew and cut it away from the meat; discard. This is connective tissue that doesn’t get tender during the cooking process. I should have taken a picture of this process, but I googled it and there are dozens of YouTube videos on just how to do this. Really, it’s easy.
Mix the flour, cumin, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Toss with the pork chunks to coat well. In a soup pot or a deep frying pan, heat the oil and brown the pork pieces, being careful not to crowd the pan. Add a little more oil to the next batch if needed. When all meat is browned set aside.
Pick through the beans to make sure there are no little stones, sticks or shriveled or broken beans. Rinse them thoroughly and then put them in the bottom of your crock pot. Pour 32 ounces of chicken stock over them. In a large bowl, mix the browned meat with the remaining ingredients (except the extra water and pepper). Pour the mixture on top of the beans. Add water to just barely cover the ingredients, add two bay leaves and freshly ground pepper (about ½ teaspoon). Cover. Cook on low approximately 7 hours.
Ladle into bowls and enjoy the beginning of fall!
You could also make this in a dutch oven. Just follow the same steps, but cover and bake in the oven at 350 until the meat is tender and the beans are cooked through, about 2 – 3 hours.