Pork stew with pears and sweet potatoes PICTURE: Melina Hammer/The New York Times
Pork Stew With Pears and Sweet Potatoes (Serves 4)

Though it is often mislabeled and misunderstood, country-style pork ribs have deep flavour and a friendly price — the ideal cut for slow-cooked dishes. 


1,3kg boneless or ,1kg bone-in country-style pork ribs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
2 bulbs fennel, fronds removed, bulb cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups of cubes)
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
About 2 cups chicken stock
3 pears of your choice, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grainy mustard for serving (optional)


If using bone-in ribs, cut away the bones and set aside. 
Cut pork into 2,5cm cubes, sprinkle the ribs evenly with the salt and allow to stand, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour and no more than 12 hours. 
Move oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 160 degrees.
Dry pork cubes well and sprinkle generously with pepper. 
Heat oil over medium-high heat in Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot until shimmering. 
Working in batches to avoid crowding, brown the pork well (including bones if you have them), transferring to a platter as browned.
Add the onions and fennel to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are transparent, 7 to 10 minutes. 
Add the wine and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve any fond on the bottom of the pot. 
Add the pork (and bones if you have them), sweet potatoes, caraway seeds, allspice, bay leaves and enough chicken stock to just cover the meat. 
Bring to a simmer, cover and place in oven for 1 hour. 
Add the pears to the pot, then continue to cook until meat is very tender, about 30 to 45 minutes more.
Remove bones from pot, stir in lemon juice, then serve stew in bowls, passing mustard separately so people can put a dollop on their stew if desired.

The New York Times