Autumn ‘Pig and Beer’

March 30, 2011

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With autumn settling in, the stockings and jackets are coming out and so is my cast iron pot. Once again, brawn meets beer for another hearty and soulful tryst and I couldn’t be happier. I love my one pot cooking. For my family, it’s easy and effortless and it never fails to fill our stomachs for days.

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This is another deep and flavoursome concoction; a chicken stock based stew that is permeated by the flavour of pork, beefed up with potatoes and fragranced with pale ale. Crusty bread is an essential here but it is equally heavenly with a side of braised cabbage, particularlythis onewhich, as I’ve already shouted from the rooftops, is the best cabbage dish I’ve ever tasted.

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I must’ve cooked every type of meat in every type of grog under the sun but the ‘Pig and Beer’ is one of our favourites. The comfort level is high but it’s not overly rich and heavy. And despite the increasingly cool weather outside, this autumn beauty goes down very well with a few cold pints.

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Autumn ‘Pig and Beer’ Stew


2kg of pork leg chops, excess fat and rind removed
2 brown onions, chopped into small pieces
6 cloves of garlic, finely diced
3 rashers of middle bacon, sliced thinly
800ml of pale ale
800ml chicken stock (low-sodium)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 Tbl of worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped
Handful of chopped fresh parsley to serve (optional)


In a large pot over high heat, melt a knob of butter with a dash of oil and brown pork chops on both sides until golden. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.

Add the onions, garlic and bacon and sauté for 5 minutes until veges have softened and bacon is golden.

Add the pork back into the pot and pour in the beer and stock. Bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat to low, stir in the herbs, worcestershire sauce, paprika and simmer gently for 2.5 hours until pork is pull-apart tender and the stock is reduced and flavoursome (the thick leg chops will need a bit of time to really tenderise).

Add the potatoes for the last 45 minutes to cook until tender (as in after 1hr 45 mins). Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

If you wish, use a bit of cornflour (mixed in a little cold water to form a paste) to thicken the stew to your preference.

Serve with a scattering of chopped fresh parsley and crusty bread (and beer!).

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly @ Drexelius Chocolates April 30, 2011 at 08:25

I know it’s not Autumn, but I love pork and this is one fantastic looking stew. Can’t wait to make it!


muppy April 15, 2011 at 07:47

I made this last night and LOVED it!!


Jojo April 4, 2011 at 16:34

I made this on the weekend but used some leftover pork belly instead and holy moly! The belly really juiced up the stock and went with the beer so well. Thanks for the recipe!


Gastronomy Gal April 4, 2011 at 02:39

I need to get myself a good Cast iron pot. I think I would maybe even substitute beer with apple cider… reckon that would work?


Maris April 3, 2011 at 21:53

This looks just as good for springtime in the USA as well.


Wholesome Cook April 3, 2011 at 12:16

This looks so good! I'm a sucker for a any type of red cabbage salad or stew, and love pork and beer combination. Mum shared a pork and leek rolls in beer recipe with me a couple of months ago and both of you are right: the combo is to die for! Love your photos too, so delicious-looking.


muppy April 2, 2011 at 02:33

I really should cook this, my husband would love me forever and ever……


Rhonda March 31, 2011 at 21:41

mmm that looks sooo uber hearty!! yummy!!!


mlle délicieuse March 31, 2011 at 13:25

I love how it's simply called pig and beer! So bold and unapologetically hearty =)


Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 31, 2011 at 12:05

Stockings? Jackets? What are they? We're still struggling to sleep through the heat over here!

Pig and beer is always going to be a good thing, and you've lived up to expectations with this :)


Dumpling Girl March 31, 2011 at 07:40

It looks lovely, perfect for a cold night.


angie March 30, 2011 at 21:58

Omg! You've got me salivating! Need some breakfast stat! Some of this would be great though ;)


almost always ravenous March 30, 2011 at 01:24

ooo i want a cast iron pot =).


Susan March 30, 2011 at 01:14

OMG that is my type of food! I love one pot meals too. I have bookmarked this and will definitely make it!


blog by tina March 29, 2011 at 22:27

*wiping the drool offa my face* this looks awesome.

What is a rasher?


citrusandcandy March 30, 2011 at 07:35

Rashers is what we call slices of middle bacon. As in the long bacon with the big meaty flappy part and the fatty long bit. Er, does that make sense? Lol!


Emma March 29, 2011 at 21:39

This looks and sounds delicious! Stewed dishes are often so hard to photograph well but this looks simply luscious!


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