Try pork in a whole new way using this pork stew recipe, which is made using a slow-cooker or crockpot. You'll start with a boneless loin (or tenderloin) cut in pieces and then add chicken broth as the base along with other vegetables and seasonings.
Pork Loin or Tenderloin?
Some sources say not to substitute loin and tenderloin; they are different cuts of meat. The tenderloin is the slimmer, more narrow cut from the backbone of the animal, while the loin is a thicker roast-like chunk also from the back. This recipe calls for a loin, so you may want to make it with the loin first to see how you like it. After that, you may choose to switch to tenderloin as it is typically more tender.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you use the slow-cooker or crockpot:
- Don't open the lid too often. For every time you open it, you'll need to add 15 to 20 minutes on to the cooking time.
- Preheat your pot. Instead of tossing the ingredients in, mixing them up and then turning the pot on, try keeping it on for about 20 minutes prior to adding ingredients.
- Keep veggies in mind. The high setting is only for heating it up. Delicate vegetables can't hold up to that for a long time, while potatoes can. Experts say to stick to the low setting for most dishes, but you can experiment -- or just toss veggies in a few hours into cooking.
- 1 1/2 pounds pork boneless loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch diced potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- Mix all ingredients except flour and butter directly in a 4- to 6-quart crockpot.
- Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 hours (or high heat setting for 4 hours), or until pork is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
- Combine the flour and softened butter/margarine; stir until smooth. Stir the flour mixture, one spoonful at a time, into the stew until it is blended. This will thicken up the sauce.
- Cover the pot again and continue to cook on the high heat setting for another 30 to 45 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Pork Loin or Tenderloin?
The tenderloin is the leaner, more narrow cut from the backbone of the animal, while the loin is a thicker roast-like chunk also from the back. This recipe calls for a loin, so you may want to make it with the loin first to see how you like it. After that, you may choose to switch to tenderloin as it is typically more tender. Remember, the leaner the cut, the more likely it will become dry when overcooked.