Lovely quietish weekend. I have to work a bit this coming weekend so I savored the lack of events. Friday night was Krannert's opening night which I knew would be good but I also knew from experience that there would be nowhere to sit near the music and standing for long just doesn't work out so well for me. That, and the stormy weather, which made it delightful to be home cooking, kept us in. If I'd been a bit more flush I would have gone to see the great John Anderson at City Center. It would have been $40 each though, and although he well deserves that and more, it just wasn't the time. So we stayed in and made a pork, olive and pepper stew for the next night. Delightful. Pam Anderson's recipes are so freaking reliable. Just amazing. Strangely, I took no pictures.
PORK STEW WITH PEPPERS AND OLIVES
Pam Anderson, via Three Many Cooks
You can make the stew a couple of days ahead but don't add the peppers until you're ready to heat and serve.
Serves: 8 servings
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1½ to 2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1 each: yellow, red, and orange bell pepper, stemmed seeded and cut into 8 wedges
1 large onion, cut into medium dice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
Finely grate zest and juice from 1 large orange
½ can (2 ounces) anchovies, finely minced (or 2 tablespoons anchovy paste)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry red or white wine
3 bay leaves
½ cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a heavy-bottom soup kettle or 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over low heat. Meanwhile, place meat cubes in a medium bowl; coat with 1 tablespoon of oil and season generously with salt and pepper. A few minutes before cooking, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot; increase heat to a strong medium-high until wisps of smoke start to rise from the pan. Add peppers; sauté until lightly brown and tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove from pot; set aside. Working in 2 batches, add meat; sear, turning only once until 2 sides form an impressive, dark brown crust, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the hot empty skillet; add onions; sauté until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, herbes de Provence, orange zest, and anchovy paste; cook until fragrant, about a minute. Whisk in flour, then broth, wine, and orange juice, seasoning with salt and pepper. Return pork to pot, along with bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and using a potholder to protect hands, press a sheet of heavy-duty foil down so that it touches the stew. Seal foil completely around the edges. Place lid snugly on pot, set in oven, and cook for 1½ hours. Remove pot from oven and set over low heat. Carefully remove foil; stir in peppers and olives. Remembering that kettle and lid are hot, re-cover pot and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Serve.
I actually followed the recipe pretty closely, except for sizing it up a bit. I even made some homemade chicken stock to use in it, completely forgetting that one of the people I was making it for is allergic to chicken. Geesh. I remembered the next morning and quickly made a weird cauliflower pork stew. Eh. You know, win some, lose some.
The stew was for getting together with friends to watch the last of Outlander. Alas, we still have one episode to go...we couldn't do four in one sitting. The highlight of the evening?
Heather, you are an amazing giver of gifts.
Sunday morning I got up and the day was beautiful. I ate leftover stew for breakfast and laid on the living room couch reading a novel. The peeling wall paper was right above me, just taunting me.
I started pulling a bit of some of the torn (thank you very much Hattie) wallpaper and it started coming off in strips. Owen was distraught. He is very attached to items. He actually hugged some of the strips of wallpaper coming off the wall. It made me think of him cuddling the rearview mirror of our old van, or when he wouldn't let me throw out a pair of old tights because I "had memories with them." Anyway I employed what is know as the time tested Cynthia Technique in which one person gets up and starts doing a project, normally yardwork or some sort of house project. Then the other person in the household good-naturedly joins in the work. Shortly thereafter the first person sits down and watches the other person work, giving helpful suggestions and encouragement as necessary. I highly recommend this technique.
I'm waffling between keeping it roughly the same color...I do love that gold, or going white. What say you?