This Ale Braised Pork Stew with Vegetables and Apples is the perfect dish to warm you up this fall. Tender pork, earthy brown ale, hearty vegetables and sweet apples make this stew a family favorite.
I never thought I’d say this, but here goes…Thank God it’s Monday!!
It was a weekend full of rain, rain and more rain. So when good old Hurricane Schwartz from our local news predicted a glimmer of hope for some Monday sunshine, I said bye bye gloomy weekend weather and nice to see ya again Monday morning sun! Now, we all know there’s always a slight chance the weatherman could possibly be wrong (it happens once in a blue moon right? wink, wink), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we at least enjoy a peek or two of sun today.
Now, just because Mother Nature put the kabosh on all outdoor plans for the weekend, we didn’t let it ruin our fun. Our weekend was still packed with activities. We cozied up in front of the TV and watched game after game of college football (all my favorite teams won! Yay!), we took the boat out of the water and brought in all the outdoor furniture for the season (boo!) and I worked on a recipe or two with my neighbor David, who used to own his own restaurant back in the day. I can’t wait to share!
So I don’t know about you guys, but when the weather is dreary and cool my favorite meal is a big bowl of soup or stew. And since there’s always an extra beer around our house during football season, I decided this Ale Braised Pork Stew with Vegetables and Apples was just the ticket.
I went with a pork shoulder because it’s one of my favorite cuts of meat for braising and a brown ale (Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale). The ale helped tenderize the pork perfectly and it deepened the flavor of the stew. It gave it a caramel and earthy flavor. I added the usual cast of characters…potatoes, carrots, onions and celery and then decided on throwing in some apples because it’s fall after all. This is one hearty dish that will warm you to the bone! Enjoy!
- 3 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups brown ale (I used Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 8 cups vegetables, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used a combination of small red potatoes, carrots and celery)
- 2 medium apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used Fuji apples)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Season pork with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork in batches and cook until browned on all sides, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil and onions to the Dutch oven and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the ale and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then add the broth, brown sugar, the pork and any juices to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered until the pork is very tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Add the 8 cups of vegetables and apples and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook, partially covered until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
- If you like your stew a little thicker put 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour in a small bowl with 4 Tbsp. of the stew broth. Whisk together. Add this mixture to the pot and stir until well combined. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper and parsley. Serve in bowls.