Stews always taste even better the next day, so I routinely make a large batch. If desired, this recipe can be cut in half; be sure to use a smaller Dutch oven so the liquid covers the meat during the cooking.
- 3 Pounds boneless pork shoulder or lamb stew (from shoulder or leg), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 Cup flour
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 to 5 Tablespoons safflower or expeller-pressed canola oil
- 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored, cut into 1-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 large crisp-tart apples (total 12 ounces), peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle dry sparkling cider
- 3 to 4 sprigs each: fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon each dried)
- 1/2 Cup chicken broth
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white cannellini beans, drained
- Chopped fresh parsley and chives for garnish
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pat pork or lamb pieces dry.
Mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a zip-close food bag.
Add a few pieces of the meat at a time; shake to coat well.
Transfer to a plate while you coat the rest of the pieces.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy-bottomed 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium heat.
Add about one third of the flour-coated meat to the pan in a single, uncrowded layer.
Cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned on all sides, six to eight minutes.
Transfer to a baking sheet.
Repeat to brown all the meat, adding oil as needed.
Stir onion, red bell pepper and celery into pan drippings.
Cook and stir, three minutes.
Stir in apples, garlic and cider, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Boil gently to reduce the liquid slightly, about five minutes.
Return the browned meat to the pot.
Stir in the herbs and chicken broth.
Heat to a boil.
Cover the pan tightly and place it in the oven.
Bake, stirring once or twice, until the meat is fork-tender, about 1 ½ hours.
Remove herb sprigs.
Stir in beans.
Heat to a simmer over medium heat.
Taste for salt, adding more as needed (usually ½ teaspoon).
Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Serve with potatoes.