How to Stew Pork
The meat in a stew is cut into chunks and submerged in the liquid, while meat for braising is often left whole and the liquid might only cover half the meat. Tougher cuts of meat are best for stews, as very lean cuts can become too dry when stewed.
- Dredge chunks of meat in seasoned flour – this helps thicken the stew.
- Sear meat on all sides in a little oil in a Dutch oven or stew pan until deep brown. Set the meat aside.
- In the same pan, cook chopped mire poix (onions, carrots and celery) or trinity (onions, celery and green pepper) until golden brown. Add dried herbs and spices.
- Deglaze with liquid – stock, water, wine, beer – whatever the recipe or taste calls for.
- Add the meat back to the pan. Pour in enough liquid to just cover the meat and bring it to a simmer.
- Cover tightly and finish stewing in the oven at low temperature – 300°F is a good target. This could take anywhere from just ten minutes for some vegetables and fish to upwards of two hours for tougher cuts of meat. Again, check the recipe.
- Remove pot from the oven and skim off any unwanted fat. If the liquid is thinner than desired, thicken it with cornstarch dissolved in cold liquid or beurre mani (equal parts butter and flour kneaded together to make a dough). Make sure to bring the cooking liquid up to a boil so the starch can thicken it.
Stewing is a great cooking method for smaller pieces of less tender pork cuts, like shoulder cubes. Sear or brown the pork in a saute pan to develop a deep flavor, then stew in a Dutch oven or slow cooker.