The Recipes

Pork Roast with Chickpea and Olive Stew

My trussed pork roast worked so well over at a friend's house, I decided to make my own personalized version of a roast.  I incorporated some different flavors here and used up some of the fantastic fresh herbs I had in my fridge.

Pork Roast with Chickpea and Olive Stew


Ingredients:

- 1 lb. boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
- 1/2 14/5-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 c. olives (I used a mixed country variety I had picked up recently)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T. of Turkish seasoning (a freebie when I placed an order with Penzey's, an online spice company)
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- splash of dry white wine
- handful of tarragon, chopped
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 c. of chicken stock, plus water if needed
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Combine the herbs and garlic.  Drizzle in enough olive oil to make a wet paste-like mixture.  Split the pork down the middle, opening it like a book.  Season the pork with salt, pepper, and a bit of crushed red pepper. Spread the herb mixture over the inside, working it into the meat.  Roll the meat up into a log.  Using butcher twine, tie up the roast to ensure an even cooking time and that the roast maintains its shape.  Click here for an online tutorial for how to tie up a roast.  Don't worry too much if it doesn't happen so neatly.  The goal is just to secure the meat.

Season the outside with salt and pepper while you heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot.  Sear it for 2-3 minutes on each side; long enough to establish a light brown crust.  Remove the roast from the pan and set it aside.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot.  Season with salt and let the vegetables soften for 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for another minute.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, allowing it to reduce by half.  Add in the chickpeas and season everything with the Turkish seasoning, stirring again to combine.  Nestle the pork back into the pot.  Scatter the olives around the roast and add in the stock and water until the liquid is a little over halfway up the side of the roast.

Cover the pot and braise the pork for two hours.  It is done when it is 140-145 degrees internally.  When it is cooked through, remove the roast and set it aside.  Let it rest for 15 minutes before you slice it.

Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings to your liking.  Meanwhile, prepare the cous cous according to package instructions; generally bringing 2 parts water to 1 part cous cous to a boil, then covering and setting it off the heat.  Fluff after five minutes and plate with a few ladles of the stew.  Slice the roast and place a few pieces on your plate.