Pork and plum stew: a childhood memory


Autumn means lots of mouth-watering stews, slowly cooked in the oven and a kitchen that smells divine. Here’s an adaptation from my childhood, a delicious plum and pork stew made by my grandma. My grandma came from a different part of the country, where fruit and meat mixed happily, where sweet and savory embraced each other and where it is very common to add fruit to lots of dishes. And boy, how well she did it! Both my dad and I are fans, my mom and grandpa (as far as I can remember) not so much. Well, their loss, don’t let it be yours, too.

What you need

600 grams fatty pork (please don’t trim the fat!!!)
One large onion
One carrot
Four garlic cloves
400 grams plums
Vegetable oil
Fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper
A pinch of sugar
Red wine
Preserved tomato or tomato sauce
A pinch of flour

How to make pork and plum stew

Start by chopping the pork in pieces (bite-size) and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and brown the pork nicely together with a crushed garlic clove, on high heat. Remove the pork and its porky juices and set aside. Chop the onion (I do it julienne) and the red pepper and grate the carrot. Heat a bit more veggie oil and add the chopped onion, pepper and carrot. Season with salt and cook until soft- about 15 minutes should do it. In the meantime, heat the oven on gas 3. Dump the pork with the juices and the veggies in an oven-proof pot. Un-cork that bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass: contemplate the full sink of dishes, then take yourself to a happy place. Once you finished that glass, remember that you actually bought the wine for a recipe and start pouring, to cover the ingredients in the pot. Add few gulps of tomato sauce (or few preserved tomatoes), the rest of the crushed garlic cloves and the rosemary springs. Cover and leave in the oven for about an 1.5 hours, not forgetting to stir at least once and take the lid off for the last 30 minutes. While the stew is in the oven, get started on the plums. Or, if you are prepared like I was, take the already cleaned and quartered plums out of the freezer. Anyway, whatever you do, you need to end up with quartered plums :). After the time has passed, add in the plums, adjust for salt, pepper and add a pinch of sugar. If you think the sauce is too runny, add a pinch of flour and mix well. Leave in the oven, without the lid for another 15 minutes.
We ate this with a buttery stoemp: mashed potatoes, carrots and parsnip. I felt in love with this side dish, I also add one garlic clove and one bay leaf when boiling the root veggies: it makes all the difference. Once everything is mashed, I add a handful of chopped greens: usually parsley or chives. We ate this so many times lately, I’m pretty sure my man is about to hit his limits (he prefers the classic mashed potatoes). But do try it, it’s a tasty way to revamp this old, faithful side dish and add few more veggies in your diet. Next to all this goodness, we had a simple broccoli salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That’s it! Win-Win 😛

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