Pork and Apple Stew

green tomato muffins-9

If I were Dorothy and I just blew back home from my trip to Oz, I’d be wondering if I took a wrong turn on the yellow brick road and ended up in Michigan, not Kansas.  It’s farkin’ cold in Wichita this fall. Combine the chilly weather with pubescent growth spurts in both of my girls over the summer, and I’m heading out to buy two entire wardrobes of new winter clothes a month early this year. I may have to consider selling a kidney to pay for it all. Alas, nudity is frowned upon in public schools, so I really do need to pony up the cash and restock the closets.


On the bright side, we are heading back to the kind of weather that gives me an excuse to cook the meals I love best. Soups, stews, roasts and other slow cooking oven dishes, food that fills the house with warm, comforting aromas that smell even better when sniffed with noses still cold from the weather outside.


Pork and Apple Stew

This pork and apple stew is the epitome of fall comfort food.  Simmering away slowly, the sweet apple pieces and licorice scented fennel melt together to make a delicious hearty broth for the tender pieces of pork. A big, rustic loaf of bread fresh out of the oven is a must to sop up the juices.

3 lbs pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 medium onions, diced
½ small head of green cabbage, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup apple cider
3 cups chicken broth
3 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 whole sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tbsp dry
2 sprigs flat leafed parsley
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, brown the pork pieces on all sides. Remove the pork, reduce the head to medium,  and add the fennel, onions and cabbage to the pot. Sauté the veggies in the pork dripping for about 5 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook for a few minutes more. Return the pork pieces to the pot along with the apple cider, chicken broth, apples, bay leaves, rosemary and parsley. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the rosemary, bay leaves, and parsley springs before serving.

(Printable Recipe)

25 comments to Pork and Apple Stew

  • Nice shot of this aromatic soup—ready for a crusty piece of bread for dunking.

  • This recipe is new to me and sounds delicious. For fall it sure feels like winter today here in Wisconsin. It is cold here!! Seems like we went from summer to winter right away. Have a great Sunday. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Well, this looks flat out delicious. I love this flavor combination. Safeway has pork shoulder roasts on sale this week for 99 cents per pound. I just bought 2 yesterday for some pulled pork (blog post forthcoming) but I should freeze one to make this recipe in the near future.

    I talked with my mom yesterday and she said it was downright COLD – COLD – COLD. She said the wind made it unbearable.

    Great pics as always and loved the post.

  • yummm and very unique combination, I’ve seen roasted pork with apples but not a stew version of it. This stew looks delish!

  • Apples and pork, a classic combination for a reason. Looks great!

  • What a stunning dish! I cannot wait to make this myself. Thank you for sharing, your photos are making me hungry!!

  • I made a pork roast with caramelized fennel and onions before. The apples with this soup sound like a good idea! I’ll have to try this soup soon! Pork butt is one of those ingredients that I can get cheap even here in NYC!

  • Karen

    Debi: You bring the bread, I’ll bring the stew 😀

    Stacie: Same here. And that’s not right for Kansas! I need to be eased in to winter 😀

    Lea Ann: As Anthony Bourdain would tell you, pork is da bomb. Ok, Anthony would probably be a bit more poetic than that, but you get the picture. And you mom is right, it’s cold! And I’m Canadian!

    Jessie: Mmmm. Pork roast. My next recipe, I think 😀

    Gaga: Thanks! Pork and apples are soooo good together!

    Melissa: That is such a compliment, my pictures making you hungry 😀 Hope you enjoy it!

    Jenn: That roast sounds delicious. The fennel really works well with the apples. Maybe a pork roast with fennel and apples? 🙂

  • Great looking stew:) Make me so curious I may have to try it myself. I wonder how the apple would taste after being stewed.

  • Karen

    CheapAppetite: Since the apples are added at the beginning, they completely melt away into the stew and become part of the broth. If you wanted to have some apple pieces to bite into, I would add in an extra chopped apple about half way through the cooking time, more than half way if you wanted them a bit firmer.

  • oh this looks so yummy! I am so ready for soups and stews and this recipe is a must! thank you for sharing.

  • Greetings… found my way here via my good blogging buddy, Mangos Chili and Z…

    Your site looks terrific (except Klingon is spelled with a K, not c as you have on your about me page) Great recipes, very clear instructions… AND YOU GRILL!

    I will be back often

    • Karen

      Year on the Grill: Lol! I never even noticed! You can read something over 50 times and still miss your mistakes. Thanks a bajillion for pointing that out to me before William Shatner noticed and repo’d my Sci Fi geek decoder ring 😉

  • Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  • I had never thought of combining pork and apple in a stew. This looks amazing!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • hmm i m not much of a pork lover but these new combo look great while reading make me want to try once

  • Wow, does this ever sound fantastic. Saw it on Saveur and had to take a closer look.

  • Mel

    This is such a gorgeous dish. I would be honored if you would submit the recipe to our December’s BATTLE FENNEL and participate in the fun!

    Please click here for more details: http://tiny.cc/ySuy6

    I love your blog by the way 🙂 What fantastic recipes and photos. I added it to my reader.

  • ohhh looks like that whole thing is going into my stomach

  • This stew looks mouthwatering! What a great flavour combo.

  • Seo

    ohhh looks like that whole thing is going into my stomach

  • BobB

    Pork with kosher salt: really?
    What is special about kosher salt to make it mandatory in this recipe?

    • Karen

      The Kosher salt isn’t mandatory, it’s just a matter of volume. The larger flakes of Kosher salt means that there is actually a smaller volume of salt per teaspoon than regular table salt. If you wanted to use table salt, you would just cut back the amount used so that the dish doesn’t end up too salty. In the end though, salting is always to taste anyway.

  • BobB

    I suppose in view of my last comment, that the combination is just what the eclectic cook would do!
    I actually found this yummy-looking recipe while I was looking for a recommendation for wine to go with my wife’s version of pork stew with apple and cider.
    Has anybody any particular wine recommendations to go with this dish?

  • Thanks for sharing this recipe – I cooked it last night and it was delicious. I actually used half a cup of apple cider vinegar instead of apple cider and it tasted really great as well