I love the fall and fall weather. Warm days and cool fall nights beg for food that is comforting and warming for the body and soul. Lately the evenings have been particularly cool, perhaps I am not used to the cool weather yet. I went out to find some meat to prepare a comforting, soul soothing fall meal. I happened up locally raised, Napa Milk-Fed Duroc pork (in many cuts) that I thought would fit the bill perfectly and make for a special treat. But what is so special about Duroc pork and Duroc pigs.
Duroc pigs were used as the foundational genetics of the pig industry beginning in the 20th century. In 1812, early “Red Hogs” were bred in New York and New Jersey and these would be the ancestors of Duroc pork today. The meat and the fat are superb in taste, texture with a sweetness to it. Dairy raised pork is said to be the best, the creme de la creme, with best of pork.
Milk-fed pigs are very special pigs that are selected for the great honor of being fed fresh Jersey cow milk every day of their lives. This creates a sweeter, more tender meat that really looks and tastes unlike most other pork I’ve ever tasted. Duroc meat is clean and crisp. Its taste and texture are easy on the taste buds. Duroc pork is not too fatty, not too lean, not too strong but certainly more flavorful than its farm raised counterparts.
So what to make with this delicious meat? Well fall is the time for the new crop of apples. I found some fresh fuji apples at the market. Fuji apples were first developed in 1962 at the Tohoku Research Station in Morioka, Japan. They quickly became one of the most commonly grown apple varieties in Japan and in the 1980’s they were made available in the United States where they are primarily grown in Washington State and California, my state. Fuji apples have flesh that is dense, juicy and crisp. Low in acid its flavor is mild and sweet with hints of both honey and citrus. The thick skin of the fuji apples and their dense flesh helps them hold up well in when cooked. So decided, fuji apples to pair with the Duroc pork. Apples and pork are a match made in heaven. So there was my recipe to take the chill out of the cool nights; Duroc Pork with Fuji Apples, sweetened with leeks and red onions. Perfect in fact.
One pound 1 ounce Duroc pork stew meat – cut into 1 inch pieces
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp alderwood smoked sea salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced leeks (about 1 large leek)
¾ cup red onion diced
1 cup diced celery
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
½ tsp dried French thyme
2 cups organic beef stock
2 medium apples – cut into cut into 1/8ths
- Mix flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper together
- Dredge meat with flour/salt/pepper mixture
- Sauté meat until browned
- Remove meat from pan
- Add diced leeks and red onions
- Sauté until softened
- Add diced celery and continue to sauté
- Add meat with juices back into pan
- Add beef stock and spices to pan
- Simmer for 20 minutes
- Add apples to pan
- Simmer for an additional 20 minutes until apples are softened. Add additional water if needed.
Serve with rice and enjoy the ultimate of fall comfort foods. Wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket next to the fire. Pour yourself a nice glass of crisp German Riesling (the sweetness and acid pair perfectly with this dish) and enjoy the body warming Duroc pork and apple stew.