This is an unusual crockpot recipe for pork stew that calls for cardamom, ginger, and is additionally flavored with honey, Dijon mustard, and cream.
I like crockpot recipes for when we have a big crowd coming, or when I have a busy day. Everyone who eats at my house knows I have a fondness for meat with Dijon mustard and crème fraiche. This version of the recipe has a slightly more exotic flavour because of the cardamom, and the sweetness of the onions and carrots is enhanced by the honey.
You’ll need to put 3 chopped small onions in the bottom of the crockpot, followed by a thinly-sliced carrot and 3 large cloves of minced garlic. The carrot is more for flavour and color than to serve as a real vegetable. You’ll need a big hunk of ginger (as shown below) that you can cut in thick slices, and 6 whole cardamom pods.
Cover that with pork, and you can pepper it but don’t salt it right away. This is a trick a French chef taught me. Apparently it’s supposed to let the meat cook better over long-term when it’s not salted. I used a kilo of pork, which is 2 lbs.
Add three bayleaves and 4 cups of broth. (Water with bouillon cubes are okay). You’re going to cover that and let it cook for at least 6 hours on low heat. I ended up cooking this stew for 8 hours. If you have time to do this, you can put it on high for the first hour or two, then turn it down. If you’re leaving for the day, keep it on low.
When your busy day is over and you’re ready to eat, you have a couple steps to take while making the rice (and fried zucchini, which is what I served it with). Slice up 2 cups of mushrooms – 2 cups sliced, that is – and use some of the broth from the crockpot to cook them on a skillet.
Here’s the thing about the broth. You need the four cups because it covers the pork and ensures it doesn’t burn, even if you have to leave it the whole day. But since this is not soup, you’ll want to remove as much of it as you can by pushing a ladle down onto the meat, letting it fill with broth, then discarding the contents.
Repeat as often as needed. If you have time – hate waste – and want an improved flavour, you can also put the broth in a pan and boil it down until only a thick sauce remains, then add it back to the crockpot.
In any case, you’re going to add 2 Tablespoons each of honey, Dijon mustard, and crème fraîche or sour cream to the now-reduced stew. You also add the mushrooms and the salt now. Start with 2 teaspoons of salt and taste to see if it’s enough.
By the time you’re ready to serve, the pork should be falling to bits and the exotic, creamy sweetness will be a perfect foil to the white rice.
Did I just say “perfect foil”? I must still be in Regency mode!
Speaking of books, you guys, my memoir has been on the front page of the bestsellers in Christian Inspiration this whole week. Yippee!
Please ignore the grimy walls under the windows. Our house is still in construction. Instead, feast your eyes on this plate of perfection. 🙂
- 3 small onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 two inch piece of ginger, sliced thickly
- 6 cardamom pods
- 2 lbs pork
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 cups beef or chicken broth
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2T Dijon mustard
- 2T honey
- 2T sour cream or crème fraîche
- salt according to taste (start with 2 teaspoons - it might be enough)
- Put the onions, ginger, cardamom, garlic, and pork in the crockpot.
- Cover with the bayleaves and broth.
- Cook for at least 6 hours on low.
- Remove the excess broth and use some of it to cook the mushrooms on a frying pan.
- Add the honey, cream, and mustard.
- Add the salt and mushrooms.
- Serve hot with rice and (I recommend) fried zucchini.