Saturday, July 30, 2011

[Russian] Olga's Pork Stew

(yes, there's a lot of commentary in this recipe. You've never made this before, so you don't know how long or why things are done a certain way).

2 lb boneless country-style pork ribs
5-6 medium russet potatoes
1 large onion
2 medium carrots (can use baby carrots, though they take longer to cook than sliced carrots)
2-3 cups frozen/fresh green beans, cut or frenched. Or, one 1 can cut green beans
1-2 cups water

First, chop onion and simmer with 2-3 tablespoons butter. Let simmer until golden brown or mahogany. On my electric stove we put it on a 5 (out of 10) on a small burner and stir frequently. You're not trying to burn or blacken them. Let this cook while you prep everything else. Once brown turn off, though this usually happens about the time we're ready for them below.

Cut the meat into bite sized pieces, removing the big hunks of fat.

Fry the meat in a regular size pot (under 8 quarts) with 1 tablespoon oil, until light brown. You want color and browning to add flavor. We cook this on a 4-5 on the stove.

Add water so that the meat is just barely covered (let it at least hit the halfway point on the meat, better if it's just covered) and let simmer 30 minutes. If you're losing too much water, add some more - you're using the simmering to break down and tenderize the meat, as well as to put out flavor that'll go into the veggies.

While it's simmering, peel potatoes and cut into cubes (on a good-sized russet I usually quarter and slice about .5 inches thick). Peel & slice the carrots. Thaw the green beans.

After the 30 minutes, add the potatoes, onions, carrots, and fresh/frozen beans (if from a can, add when the potatoes have finished). Simmer and stir occasionally - the potatoes will break down, that's fine.

Once the potatoes are cooked, stir in 1 8-oz can of tomato sauce. At this point, cook 10-20 minutes further, stirring every 2-3 minutes. The potatoes will break down, and that's fine - that's our thickener that turns this into a stew.

After the 10-20 minutes, see if all the vegetables are cooked. Once they are, serve. If

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