Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meat and Cabbage Stew: Stew Secuiasca

I received an enormous head of cabbage with my farm share in early October. Confronted with this nearly soccer ball-sized sphere, I wondered what on earth I was going to do with it. I said something to this effect at work one day and my co-worker, who is from Romania, found for me this recipe for a meat and cabbage stew in the style of the Secui (Sz├ękely) people of Romania.

Pork steaks from our Back Forty Acres hog.

Mancare de varza cu carne (Stew with cabbage and meat):

  • 1 lb pork chops or steak, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large head of cabbage (about 2 lbs) thinly sliced or shredded
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, minced
Heat the oil in a large braising pan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pork and cook for 6 minutes or until the pork is browned. Add the paprika and stir to combine. Add the sliced cabbage, bay leaf, thyme, dill, pepper, and water, and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the cabbage has wilted down and the pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve with sour cream if desired.