While I was thumbing through the cookbook to find my first soup to make, I knew I wanted one that would be a large enough batch to freeze and one that has enough meat and vegetables to make it a meal all on its own. I found the perfect recipe.
"Cheap and Tasty" Pork and Orange Stew
1-2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks
Finely ground sea salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more if needed
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds
6 cups Chicken Stock or broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold,
peeled and cut into half inch cubes.
12 pearl onions, peeled
2 cups stemmed fresh shiitake mushrooms, quartered
12 baby carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
|The Marinade Express|
Season the pork well with 2 teaspoons salt. In a large sauce pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. (The generous amount of oil allows the meat to brown well. The excess will be drained off.) Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan, add the pork and let it brown on the first side before turning, then saute until well browned all over, about 10 minutes total. Pour the contents of the pan into a sieve to drain the excess fat.
Return the pan to high heat and return the meat to the pan. Add the wine, orange juice, Cointreau, and fennel seeds. Stir and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to loosen all the browned bits. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bay leaf, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly until the meat is very tender, about 45 minutes.
About 15 minutes before the meat should be ready, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and carrots and saute until all the vegetables are well browned, about 15 minutes. Adjust the heat so the vegetables brown but do not burn, adding more oil if necessary. Add the garlic and rosemary and saute briefly, just to brown the garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Scrape the contents of the saute pan into the stew. Cook the stew until vegetables are tender and the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes more. Just before serving, stir the parsley and orange zest into the stew. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then serve.
I enjoyed the stew immediately, it was absolutely delicious. The pork was very tender and flavorful from using the Marinade Express and simmering it in the liquid. The rich robust flavor of the wine, and the fruity notes from the orange juice meld together perfectly. I had used dried rosemary and parsley instead of fresh because I had it on hand and a little goes a long way. I used a yellow onion instead of pearl onions because it's cheaper. I also used a container of baby Bella mushrooms because I am a big fan of mushrooms and they are cheaper than shiitake mushrooms. I still have a few containers of stew in my freezer.When I thawed a container it was just as satisfying and delectable as the day I had made it. Hope you try this recipe out. Happy soup making!