It’s late April in the 405 and we all woke up to a windy, cold, gray day. The first thing that came to my mind was “Please be Sunday please be Sunday”…Sunday’s are my day off. The next thing was “Stew. Stew sounds good today.”
So I wanted to come up with something other than a boeuf bourguignon. I wasn't interested in the anything from the poultry realm, and then remembered I had a boneless pork loin that I was going to roast on the grill with rosemary. Today wasn’t ideal grilling weather…. so a stew it is.
I love the ingredients and flavors in this stew! Mustard Greens are perfect… and they aren’t KALE. Don't get me wrong, I do love kale… but am tired of seeing it in everything. Kind of like a fried egg on top of everything (a-hem). Anyway, the mustard greens were perfect for this stew and really added flavor, color, and interest. I also snuck a smoked pork hock for that extra added boost to the butter beans… and I’m not even going to go into the Rye & Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits I made to accompany this stew. Find that on another page and add to this dish if you’re up for making as well. It is well worth it.
I hope you enjoy this cool spring day stew… I’m pretty proud of it!
Grapeseed oil for sautéing
2- 2 1/2 pound trimmed boneless center pork loin, cubed
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 large bunch (5 cups chopped) Mustard Greens, stemmed and chopped
2 16 ounce cans Butter Beans, drained and rinsed (can use white lima beans as well)
5-6 fresh Campari tomatoes quartered (may use Plum/Italian tomatoes)
1-quart sodium free chicken stock
1 large smoked ham hock
small pinch (or to taste) red pepper flakes
1 large (2 small) bay leaf
- Bring out your cast iron dutch oven or deep sided skillet for this one. Trim any excess fat and silver skin from your boneless pork loin, and cube into stew meat portions. Your call on the size, but consider the general rule about “bite size” chunks. Place in a bowl and toss with a generous coating of my Roast Beast seasoning. If you are temporarily out, good old kosher salt and cracked black pepper works in a pinch.
- Stem the mustard greens mush like you would do with kale by pulling away the thick stem from the tender leaf. I don[t care how clean you think the mustard greens are, fill up a kitchen sink with water and real rinse those leaves. A gritty stew is not “good eats”. Pull the leaves from the water and drain in a colander. shake dry and rough chop the greens.
- Add grapeseed oil to the bottom of your pan, enough to brown the meat. Begin heating the oil until it shimmers and carefully lay in pieces of the seasoned pork loin. Remember the rule out over-crowding a pan when searing. Get a nice caramelized crust on the meat and remove to a platter. Keep searing the meat until all had been complete.
- In the same pan add the chopped onion and minced garlic cloves. Cook gently until tender and transparent. Next, add your chopped greens to the pan and sauté along with the onions. In goes the drained and rinsed butter beans; Toss everything together in the pan and tuck the ham hock right in the center.
- Dot the pan with the quartered tomatoes, the bay leaf, and slowly pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a slow simmer, cover, and cook 34-40 minutes. Check and gently stir to make sure the beans haven't sunk to the bottom and scorching. Cook until the pork is tender, and you just can't stand it any longer.
- To serve, remove the ham hock and harvest any edible meat from the bone. Chop and add to the stew. Taste for any additional seasoning and add to taste. Add a pan of my Rye & Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits for an added layer to this “food hug” meal.