AWESOME AUTUMN STEW
Yum-o! The Family Cookbook
by Rachael Ray
This pork stew is equally tasty made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Its savory-sweet flavor appeals especially to the little ones.
The Kids Can:
• measure ingredients
• prep vegetables
• line bowls with bread
• 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
• 1 large Onion, cut in 1-inch dice
• 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick on an angle
• 5 to 6 Celery ribs from the heart, sliced 1/2 inch thick on an angle
• 1 bay leaf
• 5 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs
• 4 Mclntosh apples, quartered, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins)
• 2 cups apple cider (not apple juice)
• 3 cups chicken stock
• 1 loaf crusty whole-grain bread
Trim the tenderloins, removing the shiny silver skin and connective tissue (or ask the butcher to do this for you). Cut the pork into 1 1/2-inch pieces - big bites - and place the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper and toss with the paprika and flour until well coated.
Meanwhile, preheat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and once the oil ripples and begins to very lightly smoke, add the pork. Sear the meat until well browned on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes (lots of brown bits should be left in the bottom of the pot). Remove the meat to a platter and reserve.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and thyme to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables until they are beginning to become tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the apples, allspice, and cranberries and continue to saute until the vegetables are quite tender but the apples still have some snap, 3 to 4 more minutes. Pour in the cider and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock and toss the pork back into the pot. Bring the stew to a boil and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the juices are slightly thickened, the cranberries have plumped, and the apples are tender. Pull out the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and discard them.
Line the bottom of six dinner bowls with a few chunks of bread. Ladle the stew on top of the bread and enjoy!