This aromatic and hearty stovetop pork stew is perfect for cold winter nights and it's truly easy to make.
Serve it in soup bowls, or atop rice, cauliflower rice, or spaghetti squash noodles.
This hearty stew is so tasty and comforting! Leftovers are great too, so sometimes I double the recipe to ensure I have yummy leftovers for the next few days.
I love stews. They are such classic comfort food. But many of them require quite a bit of work, and I'm not a very patient person. This pork stew is not just delicious, but also very easy to make.
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. Another tasty option is to use ghee.
Pork tenderloin: Readily available at the supermarket or at Whole Foods. I use a sharp chef's knife and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If you use fine salt, you should use less of it, or the dish could end up too salty.
Minced fresh garlic: I use a full tablespoon, which may seem like a lot. But it adds great flavor to the stew. If you don't have fresh garlic, it's OK to garlic powder, but then you should use just a teaspoon.
Spices: Paprika and dried thyme. Since we add 2 teaspoons of paprika, which is quite a bit, you should make sure it's very fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Chicken broth: I use a low-sodium broth by Pacific Natural, which has a very low sodium content. This enables me to better control the saltiness of the stew.
Canned tomato sauce: A link to the product I use is provided in the recipe card below.
Dried bay leaf: Adds an extra - subtle - layer of flavor to the stew. It's not strictly needed here, so don't buy it especially, but it does make a difference in the flavor profile of the dish.
Cornstarch: Acts as a thickener in case you feel the stew is not thick enough. Another option is to add just a bit of coconut flour, which is a very powerful thickener. The small amount needed to thicken the stew won't impart a coconut flavor to the dish.
Parsley: Used for garnish. You can skip it if you don't have any on hand.
It's easy to make this stovetop pork stew! Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe. Here are the basic steps:
Brown the pork. Cook the pork cubes in olive oil on all sides.
Add aromatics. Now add the garlic, paprika and thyme, and cook them briefly.
Deglaze. Add the broth and use it to deglaze the pan - scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any tasty bits stuck to the bottom.
Simmer. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the meat is cooked through. This should take about 10 minutes.
Pork tenderloin is a tasty cut, but it's lean and can dry out easily. So make sure not to overcook it. According to the USDA, pork (except for ground pork) can be cooked to medium. There's no need for it to be cooked until it's well-done.
Frequently asked questions
I use pork tenderloin. It's a lean and tender cut, making it perfect for a quick-cooking stew such as this one.
Pork shoulder is theoretically an option too, but I find that it's actually too fatty for this particular recipe. It needs to be cooked for a longer time to melt away the fat. So I prefer to use that when making a pork roast, pulled pork, or carnitas.
While this is true (with some limitations) for a fatty cut like pork shoulder, and assuming you use a slow cooking method, it's not true for a lean cut such as pork tenderloin. That's why I cook this stew for a short time.
Yes, absolutely. During the last 5 minutes of simmering the stew, you can mix in 1-2 cups of a chopped vegetable such as broccoli or cauliflower florets.
Variations and substitutions
Here are a few ideas for changing up this recipe:
- Use dry white wine instead of chicken broth. You can then serve the stew with the same wine. Sauvignon Blanc works well.
- Use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika. It adds a nice smoky flavor to the dish.
- Add a bit of cayenne pepper - about ⅛ teaspoon - to add some heat to the dish.
- Add veggies: During the last 5 minutes of simmering the stew, mix in 1-2 cups of a chopped vegetable such as broccoli or cauliflower florets. Other (higher carb) options include baby carrots or peas. You can also mix a handful of baby spianch leaves into the fully cooked stew.
Recommended side dishes
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered (to prevent splatters), in the microwave on 50% power. You can also freeze leftovers in individual containers for up to 3 months.
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Easy Pork Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lb. pork tenderloin cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, used to thicken the stew)*
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
- In a large, heavy saucepan, add the oil. Heat over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pork, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is no longer raw, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, paprika, and dried thyme.
- Add the broth and use it to deglaze the pan – scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any tasty bits stuck to the bottom.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until the pork is cooked through.
- If the stew hasn't thickened enough at this point, you can mix in a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 ½ tablespoon cold water). Or try mixing in 1 teaspoon of coconut flour, which is a very powerful thickener.
- Remove the bay leaf, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.