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Quinces are prized in Greece and Turkey during the fall months, when their unique scent perfumes every kitchen. If you cannot find quinces, substitute apples or pears and reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons. Although pork is naturally sweet and a wonderful foil for quince, this stew can also be made with beef or lamb.
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 pounds quinces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup pomegranate juice or water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
Rub the meat with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Place the spice-coated meat in a nonaluminum bowl. Cover and let marinate for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
Fill a large bowl 3/4 full with water and add the lemon juice. Peel the quinces, core them and then slice thickly. As they are cut, drop them into the bowl of lemon water to prevent discoloring until all are cut.
Drain the quince slices and pat dry. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the quinces and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue to sauté until golden, about 15-20 minutes longer.
Add the pomegranate juice or water and simmer over medium heat until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.
Return the quinces to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour longer; or let cool, cover and let stand overnight.
Warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate and set aside.
Add the onions to the fat remaining in the pan. Sauté over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cumin and cayenne, if using. Sauté a few minutes longer to blend the flavors and then return the meat to the pan. Add 1 cup stock or water and stir well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Place the pan holding the quinces over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the quinces and their juices to the meat and continue to simmer over low heat until the meat is tender and the flavors have blended, about 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the stew into a warm serving dish and serve hot.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
604 calories; 25g total fat; 133mg cholesterol; 167mg sodium; 59g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 39g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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