Switching your traditional sunday sustenace to a slow cooked Mediterranean stew

Sundays, in Mediterranean countries, are typically a day where meat may be consumed, in the same way one would a celebratory meal. Today's suggestion is to swap your traditional Sunday roast for a more healthy Mediterranean option. In this case a healthy pork stew with a lean shoulder cut. The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant-based foods. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean diet, as is seafood. But meat?  Think of red meat as a treat reserved for special occasions. In Greece, for example, many people stop eating meat for six weeks in the spring during Lent for religious reasons, and then celebrate Easter with roasted lamb. Enjoy ribs on your birthday, or grill some burgers ( they could be aubergine ) when friends come round ( here´s hoping one day soon ), for example. Red meat is on the bottom rung of the Mediterranean diet , along with cake and other sweets. And at all costs avoid processed meats if you possibly can. Use fatty cuts of pork, such as pancetta or bacon, in small amounts to flavour beans, vegetables, soups, and stews. Pork can complement fresh vegetables really well and it can add a delicious dimension of flavour to cooked vegetable dishes, too. Enjoy small portions of poultry as a main dish. Poultry, along with dairy and eggs, is included in moderate portions in the Mediterranean diet. Chicken broth is commonly used to flavour soups and stews, for example. When you make poultry as a main dish, limit your portion to three ounces or less (the size of one typical
chicken thigh or breast), and accompany it with lots of vegetables.
If pork is used to add dimension and flavour to Mediterranean dishes, so too can fish. Where´s this going I hear you question. Anchovies is where. Even if you’re not an anchovy fan, please have faith, they add a deep, savoury-ness (is that a word?) to the sauce. You can’t taste them in the sauce but it really makes this dish special, and gives it depth as it would spiking a roast leg of lamb. Try it, believe me, you won´t regret it, to the contrary you will adopt it as a must have in your future dishes. Well I applied the use of anchovies to this stew and it was delicious, I hate to think what it might of tasted without the little chaps. Before the recipe just a few reasons why you should make this
  • It bubbles away quietly in the oven (or on the hob) requiring zero attention.
  • It freezes brilliantly, make a double batch and take a portion out of the freezer for a quick dinner when you need it.
  • Pork shoulder is a really good value cut of meat, making it fairly economical for a meaty meal.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Slow Cooked Mediterranean Style
Pork Stew

serves 3

0.75 kg (1lb 10oz) Pork shoulder in cubes
0.5 tbsp Ground cumin
0.5 tbsp Ground coriander

0.5 tsp Ground cinnamon
0.5 tbsp Olive oil
1.5 cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1.5 Leeks sliced
4 small potatoes quartered
400 g Tinned tomatoes chopped
25 g Tin of anchovies drained and chopped
45 g Black olives drained
2 bay leaves
12.5 g Fresh rosemary, chopped
large pinch of dried oregano
Flor de sal and black pepper
1 litre home made chicken stock

Pre-heat your oven to 160C. 

Put your pork cubes into a big freezer bag or bowl, with the cumin, coriander and cinnamon and toss well until they are evenly covered. Heat a little oil in a oven-proof casserole and brown the pork in batches. Don't over crowd the pan. Remove from the pan and add all the vegetables and sauteé for a few minutes until softened.Add the pork back in, the tomatoes, anchovies, olives, the herbs and salt and pepper, and as much stock as needed to just cover everything
Put the lid on the pan and pop in the oven for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally, you want the pork to be meltingly soft and tender, and the sauce to be thick but not dry. If the sauce is drying out at any point, add a dash of water.

*For those who are new here, please note that you can click here and check the previous post. 


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