Saturday, November 19, 2011

Greek Pork and Garbanzo Stew

I sort of made this recipe up.
Yes, I bought this great Greek cookbook recently, which is kind of rare for me.  I don't like cookbooks too much... there is so much to find online these days that I find myself looking there first anyways. But Greek food is some of my favorites and good recipes for Greek food is very hard to find, so I snatched this one up last time I was in Portland at Powell's which is one darn big, cool old bookstore.

There was a recipe for Pork and Garbanzo stew with oranges in it. 
Hmm.... nope, I mean 'no thank you'.
I'm good with orange flavors, but think it goes best in desserts and drinks.  The recipe inspired me not by it's list of ingredients, but by it's lack of ingredients.  Besides the pork, garbanzos, and orange, it had onions and chicken stock.  I love feta and think it tastes great on everything, hence the addition here.  Plus, you could omit the parsley, but I like the extra flavor and color that a little green provides.

I had planned on making this in my crock pot, but when I finally decided I DID want to make it for dinner, I really only had about 2 hours before dinner. If you decide to do the crock pot method, I would still brown the pork (and even that could be optional), but otherwise just dump the rest of the stuff in there and simmer for 6-8 hours.

Serves about 6
2 1/2 - 3 lb pork roast
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp oregano, dried
2 bay leaves
2 cans garbanzo beans, undrained
2 cups water, or
1 1/2 tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Cut your pork roast into 1-2" chunks.  Over medium high heat, work in small batches, cook for 3-4 minutes in the olive oil, turning every minute to get it brown on most sides.  Remove pork to a plate when complete.

In the same pan that you cooked the pork, saute the chopped onions and bell pepper and saute for about 5 more minutes, until the onions soften and start to turn pale brown.  Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and zest, spices, garbanzo beans and water or chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer for about 2 hours, until the meat is nice and tender.  Or, you could put your covered pan in the oven and bake for 2 hours at 300 degrees. Here's a picture of the stew before it had simmered and cooked for a couple hours.

When the meat is cooked and tender to your liking remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley. If the stew is not thick enough to your liking, simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes to reduce it a bit.  Keep the stirring to a minimum or you will shred your pork into small bits.... but then again, that's nice too.

 Ladle stew into bowls and top with crumbled feta.  You can serve this stew over rice, orzo or quinoa, but it's also very nice on its own.

Greek food might be my favorite... here's some more that I love:
Grilled Greek Potato Salad
Greek Panzanella Bread Salad
Greek Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce
Baked Prawns with Feta and Orzo Pasta
Lemon Rosemary Salmon

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