- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When you’re cooking for two, you may think stew can’t be part of your repertoire. Typical stew recipes use large amounts of ingredients. Dump the contents of the refrigerator into a pot, and you have a family sized stew.

If you’re cooking for half that number and don’t want to eat the same thing for several dinners, the dish doesn’t make sense. But now you can have a hearty and delicious stew that’s meant for two without leftovers.

To start, this recipe calls for carrots and parsnips that you can buy individually. Each adds flavor and nutrition but doesn’t overwhelm the dish.

Next, the dish replaces the usual beef with pork. Stores often make pork convenient for smaller households by selling smaller half-pound packages of pork cubes or slices for stir-fry dishes.

The stew is served over noodles, so you can measure and cook the amount you want.

Pork and parsnip stew

2 medium parsnips

2 medium carrots

Salt

2 tablespoons butter, divided

½ pound boneless pork cubes (½-inch pieces)

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1 small red onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, trimmed and chopped

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash of cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

1½ cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked egg noodles

Pare and trim parsnips and carrots. Cut into ½-inch dice. Place in a medium pot with lightly salted water to cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large pot. Place pork in a bag. Add flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Shake well; reserve any leftover flour. Brown pork in butter. Remove pork when brown.

Add remaining tablespoon butter to pot in which pork has been browned. Add onion and celery and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1 tablespoon reserved seasoned flour. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne and thyme.

Slowly add chicken broth, stirring until sauce is slightly thickened. Add browned pork, parsnips and carrots to pot. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over noodles. Makes 2 servings.

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