This recipe is definitely a go-to. It’s really quick and easy to pull off. Most of the needed ingredients most probably are already in your pantry. And, most importantly, it’ll surely please everyone in the family.
The cooking process would be really quick so you may want to get all of your ingredients processed and ready before you start. A few tips here:
- Keep a bowl of cold water close to hold all of your peeled potatoes. This will prevent them from oxidizing and eventually turning brown.
- Apples will oxidize very quickly too once you cut or peel them. Soaking them in some acidulated water will prevent this from happening. A tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice added to a bowl of cold water should do this.
Cut the pork roughly into 1 inch cubes. Do these cuts against the grain of the meat. Doing so along the grain will make even this tenderloin tough to chew on later. Tenderloin would work best for this one-pot preparation because it will cook in the same amount of time as the other ingredients would. You may use other cuts of pork too but would have to adjust for adding in the vegetables towards the end to avoid overcooking them.
Flavor your meat. Add in some mustard, salt, black pepper, and dried sage. The mustard here will not only provide the tang that would perfectly go with the sweetness of the apples, but will also enhance the formation of a brown crust on these pieces of pork. I’ve also added sage at this point for its unique flavor that in my opinion, is the perfect herb-pairing for pork.
Sear the pork in a lightly oiled pan over high heat. The quicker you can get the sear done, the more moisture you lock inside the meat. Do this in batches if working with large quantities of pork to avoid bringing down the temperature in the pan too low. Also, don’t disturb the meat as it sears on one side. Moving them around the pan unnecessarily would prevent them from developing that
Next add in the carrots, celery, and onions. This trio of vegetables make up the classic French mirepoix which is used as a flavor base for most of their stews and sauces. We’re using carrots here as a flavoring vegetable that’s why we’re adding them in this early. Roast them until they caramelize to enhance their flavors.
Deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape off all the pan drippings. Doing so will add so much depth of flavor and color to the final dish. Allow the wine to reduce a bit to reduce its acidity.
Tip all the contents of your pan into the slow cooker. Add in the stock, potatoes, apple slices, and fresh tarragon. Set your slow cooker on low and stew for four hours. This is great to make a ton of and save for heating up later for lunch. If you want an extra large slow cooker to make large portions, you should look at my list of extra large slow cookers or read my review of the 8.5 quart Gourmia SlowSmart.
Just before serving, whisk in cold butter nuggets to the sauce. This will enrich all the flavors of the stew and add a bit of sheen too.