Recipe of the Week: Pork with Cherries, by MHL

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This recipe is my version of an old traditional French recipe, Porc aux Pruneaux, which I altered several years ago after a bumper crop of cherries. This is one of the treats of November after a hog is slaughtered and there’s lots of fresh pork on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder or boneless rib meat, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 3 cups chicken stock OR 3 cups water & one bullion cube OR just 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine, if available (increase water by 1/2 cup if not using)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cherries. (Sour cherries work best, but use what you have available.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled & left whole
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 Tablespoons oil or other fat, but not butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy dutch oven that has a lid.
  2. Toss meat with flour to lightly coat and then brown in batches in oil. Remove from pot & set aside.
  3. Sauté onion until translucent, adding more oil if necessary.
  4. Add garlic, rosemary, and sage; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in wine, if using, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot; then add stock and bay leaves, and return pork to pot.
  5. Cover pot and lower heat to a simmer, checking liquid level periodically until meat is tender, about an hour to an hour and a half, adding stock or water if needed.
  6. Add cherries and continue to simmer until cherries have re-hydrated and liquid has thickened. If you think it is too thin, stir in a bit of cornstarch mixed with cold water, or if it is too thick add a little more stock. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve over noodles or rice.

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