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Pork and Chick Pea Stew

• For sauteed aubergine slices, thinly slice a large aubergine and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave to drain for 45 minutes, rinse well and dry. Coat with seasoned flour and saute quickly in olive oil until well browned and tender.

ingredients

serves 4
800 g (1 3/4 lb) shoulder of pork, cut into 25 mm (1 in) cubes
30 - 45 ml (2 - 3 tbsp) olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, halved and thinly
sliced 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) red wine
3 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 large red pepper, sliced
100 g (4 oz) dried chick-peas, cooked and drained
sauteed aubergine slices, to serve
freshly chopped parsley, to garnish

for the marinade

7.5 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt
freshly ground black pepper
a large pinch of ground allspice
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) dried marjoram
2 large garlic cloves, crushed

method

1. Place the cubed pork in a bowl with the marinade ingredients and mix well with your hands, making sure the marinade is evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring once or twice, if convenient.

2. Dry the pork on absorbent paper, reserving any juices. Heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) oil in a large frying-pan over moderate heat. Add half the pork and fry, stirring, until it changes colour. Transfer the meat to a flameproof casserole, using a slotted spoon. Fry the second batch of pork cubes, adding more olive oil as needed.

3. Add more oil to the pan, if necessary, then add the onions and cook for a few minutes, until they are softened. Transfer them to the casserole. Deglaze the pan with the wine, stirring in the crusty bits.

4. Pour the wine into the casserole and add the tomatoes, bay leaf and reserved meat juices. Bring to simmering point, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the sliced pepper and chick-peas. Continue to cook over gentle heat, stirring occasionally, for a further 1 - 1 1/2 hours until the meat is very tender.

6. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a heated serving platter with a slotted spoon. Boil the remaining juices quickly until they thicken very slightly. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then pour the juices over the pork. Surround with the sauteed aubergine slices, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve at once.

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