A long, long ,long time ago my mom and I spent ten weeks in Europe visiting Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, France, Italy and other countries too numerous to mention. My favorite, however, was Greece where we spent some time in Athens and then a short cruise to some of the islands. Around the corner from our hotel in Athens was this little Taverna which served many traditional dishes on the cheap. This Celery and Pork Stew is very reminiscent of one served there. The original was served with an avgolemono sauce. I decided to just opt for lemon wedges for those who like the citrus spark. Serve the stew over rice if you like. —inpatskitchen
4 to 6 servings
boneless pork shoulder meat cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper
strips of bacon, diced
leeks, light green and white parts, sliced into thin rounds or one medium onion, diced
large cloves of minced garlic
ground cumin seed
dry white wine
large stalks celery cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
fresh oregano leaves
plum tomatoes, seeded, cored and cut into a fine dice
Place the seasoned pork cubes in a plastic bag with the flour, give it a shake or two to lightly coat. Heat the oil in a stew pot and brown the pork cubes. Remove them temporarily and drain the pot of most of the oil, leaving in about two tablespoons..
To the same pot add the diced bacon and over medium heat cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon begins to crisp. Add the leeks or onion, garlic, cumin and dried oregano and continue to saute until the leek or onion softens.
Return the pork to the pot, add the bay leaf, wine, chicken broth and water, bring up to a simmer and simmer, covered for about an hour or until the meat is tender. During this time stir the stew occasionally.
Add the celery and continue to simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until the celery has softened a bit but still has a little "bite"
Stir in the fresh oregano and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Serve over hot cooked rice, if desired, garnish with a little tomato and offer lemon wedges for those who desire.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!