January 11, 2007

Pork and Fennel Stew





Ingredients:
2 lbs of boneless pork rib, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup flour
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
2 leeks, halved and sliced
2 fennel bulbs, cut into thin 1 inch strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive iil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 sprig fresh thyme
salt and pepper and paprika to taste

Directions:
Season pork cubes with salt, pepper, and paprika. Put the flour in a bowl (a paper bag would work well also), add a bit of salt and pepper, and then toss the pork in the flour until it is coated. Heat the oil in a large flat-bottomed pot, add the pork, the garlic, and the fennel seeds. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the fennel and leeks. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes until the vegetables have started to soften. Add the wine to the pot and stir until the wine has thickened and the flour stuck to the pan has loosened, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the thyme and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down low and cover the pan, simmering for 45 minutes. Skim the scum off the top periodically during this time. Then add the potatoes and carrots, and cook (stirring frequently) at a medium-low heat for 1 hour or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


My thoughts:
This stew might not win any beauty contests but it doesn't have to-the taste is enough. Fennel and pork are natural companions and this stew highlights them both. My husband (who also was kind enough to both create and type up this recipe for me) made this for dinner earlier this week. The leftovers were just as good the next day.