Ragout of Pork and Prunes

Pork and prunes are a classic combination that unite in this braise that's both easy to prepare and easy on your wallet. When coupled together in this recipe the oozing flavors create a delightful dish that the whole family can enjoy. Pork shoulder is an inexpensive and juicy cut of meat that works well in a variety of dishes.

Photo by Jackie M.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

10.67

cup servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

10.67

servings

Ingredients

  • 4

    pound(s) boneless pork shoulder (picnic or Boston-butt), trimmed and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1

    teaspoon(s) salt, divided

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 2

    tablespoon(s) canola oil, divided

  • 1

    tablespoon(s) butter

  • 1

    cup(s) minced shallots (5-6 large)

  • 2

    teaspoon(s) grated fresh ginger

  • 1

    tablespoon(s) brown sugar

  • 1/4

    cup(s) sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

  • 1

    teaspoon(s) dry thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

  • 1 1/2

    cup(s) reduced-sodium beef broth

  • 2

    cup(s) large pitted prunes

  • 1

    cup(s) tawny port (see Note)

  • 2

    tablespoon(s) water

  • 2

    teaspoon(s) cornstarch

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork in batches (do not crowd the pot) and cook until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Remove to a large plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add shallots and ginger and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Bring to a simmer and immediately add broth. Return the pork to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, uncover and let stand for about 15 minutes. While the stew stands, combine prunes and port in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Skim or blot any visible fat from the stew. Stir in the prunes and port. Return the pot to the stove and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Transfer the pork and prunes to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Return the sauce to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture a little at a time, stirring and adding more as needed, until the sauce just coats the spoon. Stir the pork, prunes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into the sauce and heat through, about 1 minute.

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