CABIN FOOD

With a nip in the air, it’s time to em­brace this warm­ing, com­fort­ing pork and peanut stew, writes Vic­to­ria Holtam

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin -

Beat the win­ter weather wth a warm­ing stew

With the weather tak­ing a turn for the worse of late, and the days get­ting shorter and colder, I find my­self tak­ing so­lace in warm­ing, com­fort­ing dishes… a wel­come change from the end of sum­mer salad glut!

I love the con­ve­nience of ‘one pot’ recipes and es­pe­cially ones that blip gen­tly away on the hob or in the oven, fill­ing the kitchen with won­der­ful aro­mas and sharp­en­ing the ap­petite.

Pork and peanuts are a classic combo but most of the recipes I see are Thai style. This dish is in­spired by West African cui­sine. It utilises ingredients that are pretty much al­ways in the store cup­board or the fridge (ex­cept for the bloody Co­rian­der… I al­ways have to nip out for that!). I tend to go for a rounded, rel­a­tively mild spic­ing but it would be very easy to pump up the heat with ex­tra chill­ies or a more fiery curry pow­der if you pre­fer. You don’t re­ally need any­thing to ac­com­pany it be­cause the sweet pota­toes add bulk, but it is re­ally nice with sim­ple boiled rice or cous cous. It is hearty, whole­some, a dod­dle to cook and to­tally de­li­cious... bring it on win­ter!

INGREDIENTS: SERVES 4

750g of cubed pork shoul­der (chicken thighs work well too) 1 tbsp of medium curry pow­der (or more to taste) 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 red pep­per, sliced 4 cloves gar­lic, minced Thumb-sized chunk of gin­ger, peeled and minced 100g of crunchy peanut but­ter 1 tin of toma­toes ½ pint of chicken stock 2 large sweet pota­toes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes Fresh co­rian­der leaves, roughly chopped Small packet of dry roasted peanuts to gar­nish

METHOD: 1 Toss the pork in the curry pow­der and leave to mar­i­nate for a cou­ple of hours (or even overnight if you like)

2 Fry the meat in a large casse­role in a lit­tle sun­flower oil un­til lightly browned (in batches if needs be) and add a good sprin­kle of salt and pep­per.

3 Add the onion, pep­per, gar­lic and gin­ger and fry for a few min­utes un­til soft­ened (add the chopped co­rian­der stalks at this point if you don’t want to waste them).

4 Add the stock, toma­toes and peanut but­ter, stir well to com­bine and then pop the lid on and cook in the oven at 160C for about 1.5 hours un­til the pork is ten­der.

5 Re­move and add the sweet pota­toes to the dish, stir to­gether and then bake for a fur­ther 30 mins un­til the sweet potato is ten­der but not dis­in­te­grat­ing. Check the sea­son­ing and add quick squeeze of lemon for a touch of bright­ness.

6 Stir through the chopped co­rian­der at the very end, spoon into bowls and top with a few crushed dry roasted peanuts for ex­tra crunch.

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