Although the sun is shining, the southern cold wind keeps picking up. It’s winter here in Sydney and we should stop pretending we don’t really have a cold season. I still stumble upon guys in shorts and flip-flops as I walk down the streets of Avalon bundled up in leather coat, hat, scarf and boots and still feeling my bum will freeze off! I see none but one remedy to fight this weather, whip up a pork stew. One that looks like this
Ingredients for 4 people
6 pork sausages, 6 porks rashers, bones removed
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, chopped
1 spring of thyme
1 bay leaf
half a bottle of red wine
2 cups of chicken or veal stock
Finely chopped parsley, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, and finely chopped 1/2 garlic clove to scatter on top (gremolata)
Polenta to serve
1. Brown your sausages and rashers in a little olive oil, then set aside.
2. In the same pan, fry off a soffritto (Italian for stir-fry) of the usual suspects: onion, carrot and celery, then add thyme, the browned meat and 1 bay leaf and cook together for a few minutes. Pour over half a bottle of red wine (I used Sangiovese) . Once the alcohol has evaporated, add half a litre of good stock, bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and forget about it for 3 hours. Your stew will look irresistibly indulgent and intense and the meat should be soft and sweet.
3. Sprinkle a gremolata (Italian for finely cut herbs and lemon zest) of finely chopped parsley, half a garlic clove and lemon rind.
You can serve this with mash potato if you wish, but I tend to find it too rich, mainly because it is! I think soft polenta is the perfect match to this stew. And to set the record straight once for all, you needn’t add butter and parmesan to your cooked polenta. Salt will do. Polenta is the vehicle to absorb your stew sauce, if it’s already loaded with extra fat, your meal will turn into a potential heart attack…
No need to dress the plate with lashings of extra-virgin olive oil either, I guarantee there’s enough robust flavours in there. Simply open a nice bottle of red and get stuck in.
I think Richard and I will give up red meat in our next life…