Pork Stew with Stout and Potato Dumplings

October 10, 2014

in Cook What You Like, Main Dishes, Soups and Stews

Pork Stew with Stout

How you ever observed that romances and stews evolve similarly?

Romances:  1) flirt heavily at party/jogging/bar;  2) meet clubbing/trail walk/wine tasting with some friends;  3) frequent texts, calls, surprises;  4) he doesn’t text, she wants to call, he gives her attention, she ignores;  5) give it some distance;  and 6) it goes, or it doesn’t.

Stews:  1)  sauté meat in hot oil;  2) add other ingredients;  3) cook slowly, stirring occasionally;  4) test for doneness;  5) refrigerate overnight;  and 6) enjoy.

Get the connection?

Okaay then…lets talk pork stew and potato dumplings.

The kicker in this pork stew recipe is the combination of flavors – stout, wine vinegar, allspice and black coffee -creating a tangy contrast with the dark flavors.  Most stews, like this one, taste even better the next day.  Reheat slowly on the stovetop adding broth or water to thin the gravy to your liking.  Make the potato dumplings shortly before you’re planning to serve them.  You can make them smooth or bumpy.  Serve the dumplings along side the stew and a glass of your favorite dark brew.

Recipe: Pork Stew with Stout and Potato Dumplings

While stout or darker beers share their more assertive flavors to the stew; ales can also be used. 


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 medium Russet potato
  • 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder (Boston Butt)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of stout or dark beer, room temperature
  • 2 cups beef, vegetable or chicken stock, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup strong black coffee, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspire
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb. Russet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg


  1. Prep stew ingredients:   peel and crush the garlic.  Peel yellow onion and into 1-inch squares.  Cut celery into 1-inch lengths. Peel and cut carrots into 1-1/4-inch lengths. Peel potato and cut into pieces no larger than 1 1/4 inches. Cut pork meat into 3/4-inch cubes. Set all aside.
  2. Make stew:  in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat, heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil until shimmering.  Add a single layer of cut pork and brown pork on all side (may take more than one batch).  Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add beer, broth, vinegar and coffee. Stir to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of pan. While gently stirring, slowly sprinkle in allspice, salt and flour.  Bring stew to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer; cover. Braise for 30 minutes stirring once or twice.
  4. Uncover and add celery, carrots and potato pieces into the braising meat. Recover, turn heat to a high simmer and when stew returns to a soft boil, reduce heat back to a simmer, and continue cooking until vegetables and meat are tender, another 30 minutes or so.  Before serving, adjust to taste.
  1. Start dumplings:  peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Put potatoes into a small saucepan and add enough water to barely cover potatoes.  Bring saucepan to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes can be poked through with a fork. Remove saucepan from heat, pour contents into a colander or strainer, rinse for 10-15 seconds with cool water and let drain.
  2. Make dumplings:  when potatoes are cool enough to handle, run potatoes through a ricer or grate on the medium holes of a box grater. If using a box grater, carefully put the potatoes through twice (the second time around, you’re squishing the pieces through the grater’s holes). Add potatoes into a medium bowl. Add flour, salt, egg yolks and egg, mixing until combined.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Fill a large saucepan two-thirds of the way with water and bring to a boil.  Wet hands with cold water and roll dumpling dough about the size of large ping pong balls (scant 1/4 cup of dough).  If dough sticks to your hands while rolling, rewet hands with cold water.  Gently drop dumplings into boiling water as you roll them leaving lots of room for dumplings to swim around.  Cook dumplings in multiple batches if necessary.  Dumplings will sink and stay at the bottom of the pot for a while; reduce boil slightly if the water is boiling hard. After dumplings rise to the surface, cook for another minute.  Remove a test dumpling and taste for doneness (no doughy middles). When ready, remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon.

Makes 6-8 large dumplings and enough stew to serve 5-6 people.

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