|~ The Seven Towers of San Gimignano ~|
Have you ever had the urge to make a comforting stew but were concered you didn’t have enough time to prepare it properly? This recipe is the answer. On a recent cold, windy night I wanted to do exactly that, but it was a weekday and when I make any of my stew recipes, it’s always a weekend when I’ve have time to slowly simmer the stew for hours. So I decided to improvise.
Rather than buy a tougher cut of stew meat that requires a long braise and slow simmer, I decided to use a pork tenderloin to resounding success. This quick recipe features relies on that key ingredient and can be from first dice to table in under 90 minutes. I arrived home at 5:30 and by 7PM we were eating.
Maiale Brasato (Braised Pork Stew)
1 pork tenderloin
1/2 sweet vidalia onion, large dice
2 cloves garlic smashed
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 celery ribs, cut into large chunks
1 spring fresh rosemary (plus more for garnish)
2 small potatoes, diced small
1 jar San Marzano Passata
1/2 cup dry red wine
|~ Here are the ingredients before I started. At this point, the meat was already browning ~|
Chop the meat into bite size cubes and in a heavy bottomed pan, drizzle a little olive oil and brown the meat thoroughly over medium high heat. The pan will get brown – this is what you want. Once the meat picks up color, add the onions and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes while the onions begin to soften.
|~ Here you can see the meat beginning to pick up color and the pan turning brown. The entire bottom of the pan was colored like the portion in the upper right of this shot by the time the meat was finished browning ~|
Once the meat is finished browning, deglaze the pot with 1/2 the red wine and scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, rosemary twig and 1/2 the jar of the Passata. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Check and stir occasionally just to make sure the stew isn’t drying out.
|~ This was just before I added the rest of the wine and the tomatoes. Note the color on the meat. ~|
To finish, check for seasoning, add a touch of crushed red pepper if you like, and thicken the sauce with tomato paste if you need to. (I didn’t). This really had an amazing depth of flavor and the pork tenderloin was very tender and succulent.
To plate, use a drizzle of your finest extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of chopped rosemary. Fantastico!
|~ The finished stew. If you like, chop some additional rosemary to sprinkle for garnish ~|
December 31, 2014