I made three different stews last week, because it was cold, and one of them was really good. (The other two got the dreaded, mediocre "thumbs sideways" rating from all three of us.)
This week, it is in the 80s here, and stews do not look appetizing at all. (We had fajitas tonight.) But I remember that this Pork & Ale Ragoût was very good last week. :D
I grabbed this recipe out of the Biggest Book of Soups & Stews (Better Homes & Gardens), which my mom gave me last year.
I had to call her from the grocery store to find out if parsnips have another name, because my grocery store does not carry parsnips, but I was convinced they must, only with a different name. They didn't! I ended up going across town to another store to get them, and I had to buy fancy cellophane-wrapped parsnips at over $2.00 a pound. I'm not sure what I think of the gentrification of vegetables. Parsnips are supposed to be humble, regular-folks food.
Use the orange sweet potatoes that are sometimes labeled "yams," not the white sweet potatoes. The recipe calls for a "can of beer" . . . but I'd go with a bottle of ale rather than lager, and nothing out of a can . . . I used Firestone Walker C.P.A. I guess if I am going to protest the gentrification of vegetables I should also protest the gentrification of beer, but no, I have no problem with it. :)
Pork & Ale Ragoût
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1 lb. boneless pork sirloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 T. cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 12-oz. can beer or 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch slices
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 T. snipped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 t. dried thyme, crushed
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon-style mustard
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 small green apples, cored and cut into wedges
Combine flour and crushed red pepper in a self-sealing plastic bag. Add pork cubes, a few at a time, shaking to coat.
In a 4-quart Dutch oven heat oil. Add pork cubes and garlic, half at a time, to hot oil; cook and stir over medium heat until pork is brown. Add broth, beer, parsnips, sweet potatoes, onion, thyme, brown sugar, and Dijon-style mustard. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and apples. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes more or until pork, vegetables, and apples are tender.
(We ate big chunks of dark brown bread to go along with it.)