This summer has been all cockamamie. We had a sweltering June, but August was remarkably temperate, and now – less than a week into September – it’s already pretty cool out. I usually don’t find myself making anything soupy or stewey until November, but after a chilly walk home yesterday, I was compelled to break out the wok and the stock and craft some comfort yumminess. This is a riff on my “Warm Chicken Lovejoy” – the only thing it’s missing is the chicken. As a weeknight wondermeal, it’s cheap (less than $15), quick (less than an hour), uncomplicated, fairly light, and super soul-satisfying and delicious. Some smoked pork chops simmered in turkey stock with soup beans, potatoes, fresh veggies, and lovely wilted kale is everything the body needs to bravely face the change of seasons.
Warm Smoked Pork, Beans, and Kale Lovejoy
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3-4 small red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 qt turkey stock
1 can mixed soup beans and barley
1 bunch lacinato kale
2 smoked pork chops (preferably bone-in)
sea salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, EVOO
I forgot to take a set up shot, so let’s just jump right into it. I start by adding a roughly diced mirepoix (that’s onions, carrots, and celery for the uninitiated) to a glug of EVOO in my hot wok, which I sautee until fragrant and slightly translucent.
I let the pot simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes, stirring occaisonally, and allowing the liquids to reduce. Once they’re soft enough, I squoosh a few pieces of potato with a fork against the side of the pan, which thickens the sauce.
After 10 or 15 minutes, they’ve nicely wilted, and enough of the liquid has boiled off to yeild a nice rich gravy. This can now hold for a while if necessary (Clayton took *forever* getting home from work, so I kept this simmering on low for another 20 minutes or so) — all it does is make the flavors that much richer.
Along with some toasted garlic bread for sopping, this deep bowlful of beany meaty greens-studded stew fills the belly with wholesome heartiness and homestyle goodness. This is one of my go-to dishes: any combination of pork (sausage, chops, boneless ribs), stock, beans, and greens always hits the spot when simmered slow and low. Clayton and I dug into this meal like badgers, and weren’t done until we’d sucked every morsel of sweet smoky pork meat from the bones and sopped up every molecule of fragrant, savory gravy. The fact that it’s so easy makes it all that much better.