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Fierce Foodie: Reasons to Stew

I love stew.  I love the fact that you can throw a bunch of raw ingredients into a pot, let them simmer and a few hours later have something tender, aromatic, and delicious to share.  I love stew because stew is inherently a social food.  There is no such thing as cooking stew for one.  I love that there is a vast variety of stews out there waiting to be tried.  From Ethiopian wat to Persian koresh to French cassoulet, there is a stew for every taste and every budget.  And most of all, I love that stews are hard to screw up.  Simmering is not a complex culinary skill.  It’s just a matter of covering the pot, setting the heat on low, and waiting for the yum to happen.

Georgian Pork Stew (from the Republic of Georgia, not our Georgia)

1.5 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of visible fat

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp garlic vinegar

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp ground fenugreek

1 chopped red onion

½ tsp turmeric

3 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

Cut pork shoulder into 1 inch pieces and toss with salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, and garlic vinegar.  (You can make garlic vinegar at home easily by dropping a few cloves into a glass jar of white vinegar and keeping it in the fridge.  The vinegar can be used in cooking and the garlic can be used in recipes.)  Brown the pork in 1 tbsp each of olive and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven.  (The vegetable oil keeps the olive oil from burning.)  Crush garlic cloves and coriander seeds and add to browned pork.  Stir and cook for a few minutes, then add fenugreek, chopped red onion, and turmeric.  Cook until onion softens, then add 1 cup water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 1 hour covered.  Stir in chopped cilantro, red wine vinegar, and chopped red pepper.  Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice.

featured image credit: Dangerous Business