Pork and Scalloped Potato Stew ( one pot)

I no longer
remember how I stumbled across this recipe from The Food Network, but it caught my eye immediately.  A one pan stew that looked visually appealing, and was perfect for a cold, wet wintery night.  My one hesitation is my doctor has me watching my fats and pork was on her list of things to avoid as much as possible. 

This recipe use Pork Shoulder, but in a Google search for the leanest pork cuts, they said tenderloin was very lean, as lean as chicken breast. I knew I would be giving up some flavor if I used this cut of meat, but it was the right choice for me from a health perspective. I hoped the other flavors would carry the dish and they did, although the tenderloin was dryer.  If I ever make this for company I will make it with the original suggested cut of pork.

For the greens, I went with kale.  For the dry cider I chose Longbow. Instead of 35% cream (YUM) I used a fat free alternative. THAT DID NOT WORK.  See pic above and then the one from their website below. No flecks on top like in their photo, so I included the original cream below, but I am leaning towards brushing with melted butter next time. 

I also found the potato and yam slices seemed perched on top. They felt separate instead of part of the stew and not really scalloped as no sauce on them. If I make this again, I am going to try increasing the sauce in the stew portion and pressing down on the potato slices a bit to get them in firm contact with the sauce. 

The final verdict - the stew was tasty, but it just didn't quite come together for me. However, my husband and his brother enjoyed it a lot. My brother-in-law even took the leftovers home. So I am committed to trying it again to see if I can fine tune it slightly to bring it up a level

Professional image from The Food Network

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Pork and Scalloped Potato Stew
They say 6-8, but you would have very small servings. I would say 4 if this was full meal for you.

Stew Ingredients -

1.5 lbs.                  Pork Tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes (Note original used trimmed pork shoulder)
Salt and Pepper
2 T plus 1 tsp        Flour
1 T                        Olive Oil
1 T                        Butter
                          Red Onion, peel and cut in 8 wedges
1                           Large carrot, cut diagonally in 3/4" slices
1                           Leek, white and green parts only cut into 1" slices
4 cloves                Garlic, coarsely chopped
1 C                        Dry Cider (I used Longbow Cider)
1 C                        Chicken stock
2 sprigs                 Fresh Sage
1                           Bay Leaf
1                           Firm sweet apple such as Gala
2 C                       Hearty greens, such as green kale, black kale, or collards, roughly chopped
1 T                       Lemon juice

Scalloped Potato Topping Ingredients -

1/3 C                    35% cream (This is another taboo so used fat free cream)
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 T                       Finely chopped sage, plus more for serving
2                          Medium yams (1-1/4 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick
2                          Medium yellow potatoes (3/4 pound), sliced 1/4-inch thick
1                          Small red onion, thinly sliced rounds
Sour cream, for serving

Directions -

For the pork stew - 
Place a large cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. Season the pork in a large mixing bowl with salt and pepper. Scatter with 2 tablespoons flour and toss to coat. Add the olive oil to the pan and sear the pork in batches until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

Add the butter to the pan along with the onions, carrot and leek and cook just until they begin to develop a little color, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic along with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork and any juices back into the pan. Add the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits. Stir in the stock, sage sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and cut the apple into 8 to 12 wedges, toss with the lemon juice and set aside with the greens.

For the scalloped potato topping -
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). 

In a liquid measuring glass or small bowl, combine the cream with salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and chopped sage. Remove the bay leaf and sage sprigs from the simmered stew and stir in the apples and greens. Arrange the sliced potatoes on top, alternating between the two colors, tucking in slices of red onion here and there. Brush the topping with the cream mixture and transfer the pan to the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes before serving with sour cream and a sprinkling of sage.