GEORGIAN PORK STEW (for six)
2-½ pounds trimmed pork shoulder, cut into ¾ inch pieces
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried summer savory (If dried savory is not available, substitute a combination of dried thyme and sage)
¾ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 large red onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground dried marigold or turmeric
1 cup water
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons ajika plus more for serving
fresh pomegranate seeds as garnish
mashed potatoes or noodles to accompany
1. Put pork in a heavy 4 quart pot and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot and let meat steam over high heat, stirring once, 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are evaporated. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and saute, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. While pork is steaming, mash garlic, savory and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Scrape paste into a small bowl, then coarsely grind coriander and fenugreek seeds together. Or mash the garlic with the side of a large knife and grind spices in an electric coffee/spice grinder.
3. Add garlic paste to pork with remaining tablespoon oil and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add onion, fenugreek mixture and marigold and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Add water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, at a bare simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Stir in cilantro, 3 tablespoons ajika, and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and with ajika on the side.
from Gourmet Magazine, September, 2000