A very aromatic pork and spinach stew in tomato sauce.
This pork and spinach stew is one of my favorite ways with spinach. A rich tasting yet pretty light stew recipe with lots of spinach and tender meat pieces, all stewed in a flavorful tomato sauce, this is Romanian traditional food at its best.
I've mentioned it a few times before that Romanian people love their stews dearly, and that we pretty much stew anything that can be eaten. There is no vegetable or meat that we do not stew, from asparagus to zucchini.
And sometimes we stew fruits as well, in savory dishes of course, with or without meat, for example, apples like in this delicious Beef Apple Goulash or prunes, plums, apricots, quinces, pears and so on.
- I normally use lean pork, it has a shorter cooking time and less fat.
- Pork shoulder can be used instead. Trim off the excess fat and cook for longer, at least 1 ½ hours or until the meat is really tender.
- Use mature spinach, not baby spinach. The baby sort is not suitable for making stew.
- Plain tomato puree, not tomato sauce and not tomato paste.
Alternatives to pork:
- Very short cooking time.
- Cook the onion. Brown the chicken cubes shortly on all sides.
- Add the spinach and let wilt.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for further 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- If using boneless skinless chicken legs (cubed), add a few more minutes to the cooking time and check that the meat is cooked through yet still tender.
More pork stews:
Pork and Spinach Stew
- 1.7 lbs lean pork meat 750 g
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion medium to large
- 2.2 lbs spinach 1 kg, weighed after removing the stems, Note 1
- 1 cup tomato puree 250 ml, Note 2
- ¼ cup vegetable broth 50 ml
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste
- fine sea salt and pepper
- Chop the meat into smallish cubes. Chop the onion finely.
- Sear: Heat the oil in a large, deep, thick-bottomed pot (Dutch oven, for instance) and cook the onion for about 1 minute. Add the meat cubes, stir well, cover, turn down the heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Stew pork: Add half of the tomato puree, vegetable broth, and about ¼ teaspoon salt to the meat. Cover again and continue stewing on low heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Stir from time to time and add very little extra water if you think it might get too dry.
- Add spinach: In the meantime, wash the spinach and remove the stalks. Chop the spinach roughly. Add to the pot. Leave for a couple of minutes until wilted; add the remaining tomato puree, then stir well and cover again. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until the spinach is cooked but not mushy.
- Add garlic: Chop the garlic finely and add it to the pot during the last five minutes of the cooking time.
- Adjust the taste with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Serve with bread or potatoes, or rice.
- Mature spinach, not baby spinach.
- Plain pureed tomatoes, not tomato sauce and not tomato paste.