Italian Pork Stew with Summer Herbs (Slow Cooker)

It was my birthday last month and as you can imagine, there were one or two cook books in the mix of all the wonderful presents I received (I have wonderful friends and family!). One of the books I received was from my sister and very thoughtful, given my new slow cooker love affair, it is aptly named ‘I Love My Slow Cooker‘. This recipe (from the aforementioned book) caught my eye because despite liking pork we very rarely cook it at home, the addition of chickpeas and mint had me sold. I love coming home from a long day and walking through the front door to the delicious smell of dinner already cooked! This stew was divine, the meat was tender and the sauce rich and tasty.

Stew

The recipe states tinned plum tomatoes but my secret convenience ingredient is tinned cherry tomatoes, they have much more flavour in my opinion.

Ingredients: (Serves 4 if served with potato/polenta/rice etc)

  • 750 g of boneless pork shoulder, fat removed and cut into large chunks
  • A 400 g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 400 g tinned plum/cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250 ml of passata
  • 125 ml of vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tbsp of dried mint (start with 2 and add more if you would like, don’t be scared!)
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • A pinch of caster sugar
  • Salt and pepper (freshly ground preferable)
  • Chopped fresh mint to serve, optional

Method:

  1. Place the pork, chickpeas and tinned tomatoes into your slow cooker pot.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat until hot.
  3. Once hot, reduce the heat slightly and add the onion and carrot, fry whilst stirring for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more, until the onion has softened.
  5. Add the passata, stock, dried herbs, sugar and seasoning to the frying pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about one third.
  6. Pour the mixture over the pork, into the slow cooker pot. Stir to mix everything and make sure there is enough liquid to cover the chickpeas, if not add a little extra vegetable stock.
  7. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours.
  8. Serve with a side of your choice and top with fresh mint.
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