Story by Robyn Porteous
When the winds of winter are blowing at your door, a warm and hearty meal with loved ones can be the best way to beat the chilly weather and gloomy days. From a steaming stew to an oven-roasted collection of scrumptious vegetables and bacon, there’s a huge variety of dishes that you and your family can enjoy in the winter months that will help to brighten your days and keep you warm at the same time.
To keep you all well-fed and warm this winter, we’ve put together some of our favourite, salivation-inspiring pork dishes that you can serve as a delicious treat to your loved ones as you make the most of the final weeks of winter.
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ lb. carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
- ¾ lb. Parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise, discard of woody cores and cut into pieces.
- 2 large shallots, root ends trimmed, peeled and cut into wedges
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme plus ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
Combine the orange juice, vinegar and honey in a small bowl and set it aside.
In a non-stick skillet (preferably 12-inches) heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the carrots, parsnips, shallot, thyme sprigs, bacon and salt. Toss and coat well.
Cover the pan with the lid ajar by about 1-inch. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are limp and slightly browned, and the carrots and parsnips have a little brown on them.
Uncover the pan, turn the heat down low and cook, stirring occasionally and then gently pushing the vegetables back into a single layer so that most have direct contact with the pan. Do this until the vegetables are all tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and take the thyme sprigs out. Stir in the orange-honey mix and the thyme leaves, and season with salt. Serve right away and spoil the tastebuds of all those who sink their teeth into it.
Asian Pork Stew
- 3 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 or 2 dried Thai bird chiles
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 2 cups onion wedges
- 2 cups diced winter squash (butternut)
- 2 cups diced red bell peppers
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 325°F. Spread the pork on paper towels to dry for 20-minutes before browning.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven or another heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Season about 1/3 of the pork with salt and pepper, arrange it in a single layer in the pot. Brown well on the at least four of the side, adjusting heat as necessary. Transfer pork to a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the pork, seasoning with salt and pepper before browning. Once all of the pork is browned, remove the pot from the heat to let it cool for a few minutes.
Pour all but the fat from the pot (if there’s not a lot, add oil so that it equals 2 tablespoons). Return the pot to medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often and well until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander, and chiles, and cook until fragrant – around 2 minutes.
Add one cup of water, stirring to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and boil to reduce by half, for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and an additional 1 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil. Return the pork to the pot along with any accumulated juice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer.
Crumple a 12×16-inch piece of parchment, then flatten it out. Place it on the surface of the stew, allowing the ends to come up the sides of the pot. Cover and put in the oven.
After half an hour, add the onions to the pot. Cover with the parchment and lid and return to the oven. After another half an hour, add the squash and bell peppers. Cover again and return to the oven and cook until the pork is fork-tender, around ½ to 1 hour more.
Stir in the cilantro, lime juice and fish sauce. Degrease the stew by laying a clean paper towel over the surface of the stew and gently pushing it into all the bumps and dips, then quickly peel it off. Repeat as necessary before seasoning to taste and serving to guests.
The stew can be made up to two days ahead of serving. Simply skip the degreasing steps and cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. Once it’s chilled, you can lift the solidified fat off the top with a spoon. Reheat the stew over a medium-low heat when you’re ready to serve.
- For the Pork
- 2 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 6 ½ lb. skin-on boneless pork loin roast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium orange, halved and cut crosswise
- For the Gravy
- 2 ½ cups red wine chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon red currant jelly
- 1 tablespoon crumbled Danish blue cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roast the Pork. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden and tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute more. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Remove the piece of skin and fat from the top of the roast. Using a sharp knife, score the skin crosswise through to the fat at ½-inch intervals. Set this aside. Score the meat in a crosshatch pattern, cutting about ½-inch deep. Season generously with salt and pepper, and spread the onion-garlic mixture over the surface. Lay the orange slices on top, replace the skin and fat, and tie the roast with twine. Season the skin with salt.
Transfer to a large rimmed backing sheet and roast until a cooking thermometer insert in the centre of the roast reads 145°F, about 1-1 ½ hours.
Once done, place on a cutting board and let it rest of around half an hour.
Meanwhile, pour off and discard the fat from the baking sheet; set it aside. In a 1-quart saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Pour 1 cup of the stock onto the baking sheet and stir, scraping up the browned bits. Pour through a sieve back into the saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until caramel colour. Whisk in the stock and simmer. Add the cream, jelly, and blue cheese, and simmer, whisking often, until the gravy is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
Once done with the gravy, remove the twine from the pork and carve it. Include the crackling and orange-onion stuffing with each portion and serve with gravy.Author Profile:
Robyn Porteous is a lover of hearty meals and the staff writer for Big Roast, London’s original hog roast company that’s been filling the bellies of satisfied customers with the finest cuts of meat since 2006. Her Google+ profile contains more information on her other writing.