Sometimes a slow Saturday is perfect for slow cooking. And fall is always a good time for a hearty stew. Weekends sometimes bring a break in busy schedules affording time to prep, cook, clean-up, and the energy to do it. So I took the time and had some fun on a recent Saturday afternoon chopping, measuring, and prepping our dinner to try a new stew recipe.
The new recipe I wanted to try was Hearty Pork & Ale Stew, from Midwest Living magazine. It’s described as “This main-dish stew celebrates autumn with assorted root vegetables, apples, and tomatoes simmered with melt-in-your-mouth pork sirloin.”
Slow cooking can be so relaxing. It’s definitely rewarding. I love combining ingredients, smelling the aroma while cooking, and then tasting the result. All that work to feed people you love good food brings a feeling of satisfaction. Not to mention the fun suspense of trying a new recipe. Would it come out right? Would we both like it?
The challenge was this. After sitting around for three months during broken ankle and surgery recovery, would I have the stamina? I did. It went well. I had a good time. We enjoyed a delicious stew for dinner on a lovely fall (91 degrees) evening, while watching Purdue University (I’m a graduate and fan) surprise undefeated Ohio State (I’m a Buckeye fan by birth) with an upset.
Back to the stew…I found the recipe in the book Seasons of the Heartland. I’ve provided the link to the online recipe in the beginning of the blog. (Just click on Hearty Pork & Ale Stew above.)
I typically overlook one ingredient when checking to make sure I have everything. This time it was Dijon mustard. I discovered we were out as I was browning the meat. I was sure we had it, but didn’t check in advance. My husband to the rescue! He dashed to the store and was back just in time for me to add it in. Practical love.
One of the interesting things about this recipe for me was the inclusion of Granny Smith apples and tomatoes. Tomatoes are common in soups, but tomatoes and tart apples seemed unusual to me. Plus, I’d never had apples in a stew. It was interesting and delicious.
A fun afternoon. Lots to clean up because, as usual, I dirty plenty of bowls, cutting boards, spoons, knives, and measuring spoons and fill the entire counter. My husband, who cleans as he goes (he’s a good cook!), hasn’t been able to break me of this habit. That’s why when I cook, I clean. When he cooks, he cleans. Marriage rule from the early days.
The stew was delicious and offered a variety of interesting flavors and textures. I plan to make it again. Looki leftovers – another gift of slow cooking.
Stay charming, my friends! And eat well in this season.