You can serve me stew any time of the year. For some it’s more of an autumn or winter dish, but I prefer it for all the seasons :). This version is a new favorite that has a little hint of cinnamon and is braised in beer.
I used a bottle of Guinness Special Export, but you could use your own favorite stout. Don’t use lager, it doesn’t have a rich enough flavor. I used pork cheeks, but you could substitute it with any cut suitable for braising. If you don’t like pork, you could also use veal.
- 1kg pork cheeks, in 2 inch pieces
- 2-3 large onions, finely chopped
- 500g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- ½ Tbs juniper berries
- 3 cloves
- 2 large bay leaves (or 4 small leaves)
- ½ ts tomato paste
- 1/16 ts cinnamon
- 1 bottle of stout (30cl)
- 3 Tbs “appelstroop”, molasses or treacle
- 1½ cups chicken stock or water
- 1 Tbs American mustard
- 1-2 Tbs butter for frying
- Flavorless oil for frying
- Salt and pepper
Take a large pan for stewing. Brown the onions in the butter. Add the mushrooms and fry until golden brown.
Heat another skillet or wok with oil and sear the pieces of pork cheek at a high temperature. They don’t need to be completely cooked through, just browned on the outside. Cook them in small batches so the pan doesn’t cool down to much. Add the meat to the onions and mushrooms.
Deglaze the skillet or wok with some of the beer. Stir to loosen the browned bits from the pan.
In the meantime add the tomato paste to meat and heat through. Add the bay leaves, cloves, juniper berries and the cinnamon. Once the skillet is deglazed, add the beer and the rest of the bottle to the meat.
Add the stock or water, season with salt and pepper and add 2 tablespoons of appelstroop. Make sure the appelstroop dissolves so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover with a lid and braise for 3 to 4 hours.
Stir every half hour to an hour to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. Add a little water if the pan becomes too dry. If there is too much moisture left inside the pan, put the lid ajar to reduce and intensify the sauce.
Once the stew is almost done taste and adjust seasoning. I used a total of 3 tablespoons of appelstroop for the complete dish for sweetness. At the end I also add a tablespoon of mustard for a little tang and thickening.
A delicious stew with a hint of cinnamon. I served the braised pork cheeks over fries with mayonnaise.
I only used a small amount of cinnamon to add to the warm deep flavors of this braised meat dish. Too much can be too overpowering so beware! 🙂