Pork and Chorizo Stew with Pearl Onions
Making this is a crockpot means the flavors will blend well and you can leave it alone to cook without having to stand over the stove stirring it every few minutes. This recipe is a cross between a stew and a cassoulet because it is certainly thicker and contains less liquid than a soup and it is loosely based on a French cassoulet recipe which means it contains meat and beans and other typical cassoulet ingredients.
This hearty food will stick to your ribs on a cold night and it is easy to make. If you are unable to get pork shoulder then use pork leg or loin in its place. Make sure the butcher cuts off the fat for you though, as you will not want that in there. In fact you can get him (or her) to cut the meat into 2-inch pieces for you. It will save you from having to do it! Add in some vegetables if you want, such as some diagonal-cut carrots or green beans. That would be fine.
For the dry white wine you should choose something like Sauvignon Blanc, but if you prefer not to use alcohol then feel free to substitute water or chicken stock in its place. If you are wondering why the onions are sautéed with a pinch of salt it is because the salt draws the water out of the onions which helps them to stew rather than brown or burn.
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb fully-cooked or smoked chorizo, sliced on the diagonal
- 14 oz can Great Northern, cannellini or haricot beans
- 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
- 2 peeled, sliced carrots
- 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, drained and chopped coarsely
- 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, in 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 18 pearl onions or 3 chopped yellow onions
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Handful of chopped, fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Olive oil, as needed
- Crusty bread, to serve
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Sauté the onions with a pinch of salt in the oil for 10 minutes or until translucent.
- Put them in the slow cooker.
- Stir in the pork, beans, chorizo, carrots, stock, wine, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, and some salt and black pepper.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the pork is very tender.
- Leave the lid off and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Skim off any fat and discard the garlic.
- Fold in the parsley and breadcrumbs.
- Taste the stew and season if needed.
- Leave the lid off and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Sprinkle with parsley before serving and serve with crusty bread on the side.
This is a beautiful dish and it is often served during the fall and winter, when you get home from work hungry and crave something thick and rich. If you are not in the mood for soup but you want something moist and something that can be eaten with a spoon this is the perfect dish. A lot of French dishes are light and fragrant but this one is robust and earthy. They have some pretty cold winters in France and when the snow is on the ground and the sky is gray, the French crave thick, hearty stews just as much as anyone else, which is why such dishes are popular over there.
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