In this land of beef-eaters, pork stews don't get enough love. This one is an adaptation of a Greek pork and wine stew that I read in Vefa's Kitchen. Chunks of pork shoulder slow-simmered in wine until meltingly tender and packed with flavor.
Why this recipe works:
- Pork shoulder is a flavor-packed and inexpensive cut that becomes fork-tender with slow, moist-heat cooking.
- Coating the meat in mustard before browning it layers on the flavor in one simple step.
- There is very little active work in this recipe—sear the meat, add the aromatics, and add liquids. Time does the rest. A full-flavored meal that tastes like it took hours, but comes together in just about 15 minutes of actual kitchen work.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups cooked rice or orzo
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 275°F. Season meat generously with salt and pepper and toss with mustard to coat. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering, add the meat and sear it on all sides until well browned, about 8 minutes total. When meat is nearly finished browning, reduce heat to medium, and push meat off to the sides of the pan. Add onion and garlic to the center of the pan. Sauté until onions and garlic start soften and become translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add red wine, raise heat to medium-high and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute before adding tomato juice, cayenne, oregano, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
Return to a boil. Then, cover and transfer to the oven to cook until fork-tender, about 4 hours. When meat is tender, remove from the oven, discard bay leaves and serve immediately with rice or orzo.