Monday, March 02, 2009

Pork Miso Stew

Copyright 2009 by Cooking With The Single Guy

1 lb. pork shoulder, cut into cubes
1 small onion, finely diced
2 to 3 celery stalks (about 1/2 cup), finely diced
2 to 3 carrots, chopped
1 large daikon (Japanese radish) or 2 small ones, peeled and chopped
8 to 10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
14 oz. tofu, firm
handful of bonito flakes (optional) or a dash of dashi
4 cups water
2 to 3 T miso paste (preferably white)
1 t grated ginger
1 T soy sauce
2 T cornstarch
2 to 3 T extra virgin olive oil

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot and add bonito flakes (or dashi) and mushrooms. Boil until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and let cool. Don’t throw out the water. Instead, reserve it for use with your stew.

Season pork cubes with salt and pepper. Warm about 2 T of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot and then add pork to brown over high heat, about 2 to 3 minutes for each side. Remove meat from the pot and then warm more olive oil and then add onion and celery over medium high heat until onion is translucent. Pour mushroom stock into pot through a strainer such as a splatter screen (this is to prevent any of the leftover bonito flakes from getting into your stew; if you used dashi then this won't be an issue) and then add pork back to pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 1.5 hours.

About 20 minutes into the cooking, add the daikon chunks (they take awhile to soften). After the pork has been cooking for about an hour, add the chopped carrots.

When the carrots and daikon are fork tender, your stew is ready to finish with the rest of the ingredients. Add mushrooms and ginger. Then in a separate bowl, place miso paste and ladle out some of your stew stock. Whisk until miso paste is dissolved, then add back to your stew. Taste your stew and flavor with soy sauce as needed.

Just right before you’re almost ready to serve your stew, add the tofu and napa cabbage and let cook for just a minute. These ingredients don’t need to cook that long.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with a little bit of water to create a slurry. Bring stew pot temperature to high and when stew is bubbling add the cornstarch slurry a little at a time until stew thickens to the consistency that you like.

Ladle stew over rice and garnish with slivers of green onions.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Pair with a glass of Zinfandel.

TIP: Whenever you add ingredients to your stew pot (such as the daikon chunks and carrots), you bring the temperature of your stew down. So you may need to turn up the heat for a few minutes to bring the stew back to a regular simmer. Then reduce the heat to allow the simmering to continue.

STEW FOR THE ECONOMY: This recipe is a bit larger in servings than I usually make because whenever I make stew that takes some time, why not make more for all that effort? In this economy, it helps to make a lot of servings that you can stretch over several dinners. If you don’t want to eat stew every night, then freeze some for later. If you plan to freeze some stew, then don’t add the Napa cabbage and tofu to the ones you freeze. It’s better to add those ingredients right before you’re planning to eat the stew to maintain the integrity of those two ingredients.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pork? Miso? Stew? Swoon!