Pork Stew with Sweet Potatoes & Prunes
Pam Anderson | Yield: 6
This meaty, rich stew, with sweet bites of sweet potato and pitted prunes, is best made a couple of days ahead of time.
- 3 pounds Berkshire Pork Boneless Loin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
- 5 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided
- Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup full-bodied red wine
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 1/2 cups pitted prunes
- Adjust oven racks to lowest and middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees F. Heat a heavy-bottomed soup kettle or large Dutch oven over low heat.
- Meanwhile, place pork in a medium bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons oil over meat, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Increase heat to a strong medium-high until wisps of smoke start to rise from the pan. Working in 2 batches to prevent overcrowding, add pork and sear, turning only once, until 2 sides form an impressive brown crust, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer meat to a plate; set aside.
- Add onion to pan, adding 1 tablespoon oil if pan is dry, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Whisk in flour, then broth and wine. Return pork to pan. Using two potholders to protect hands, place a sheet of heavy-duty foil over pan, pressing down on foil so that it touches stew. Seal foil around edges. Place lid snugly on pan and turn burner on medium-high until you hear juices bubble. Set pan on middle rack in oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, toss sweet potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a 13-by-9-inch pan. Set on bottom rack. Roast sweet potatoes and continue to cook stew until sweet potatoes and pork are tender, about 30 minutes longer. Remove sweet potatoes and stew from oven. Remembering that pan and lid are hot, stir sweet potatoes and prunes into stew. Re-cover pan with foil and lid and let meat rest and vegetables marry with stew, about 15 minutes. Set stew over low heat, if necessary, to reheat, then serve.