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