There is little that is more comforting on a cold day than a kitchen warmed by the oven, and filled with the fragrances wafting forth from it. I found this recipe for a Hungarian stew while browsing for pork chop ideas. The base recipe is found here, though I have made my own additions and tweaks. My recipe makes 4 servings.
2 ounces of pancetta or bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 Tbs Hungarian (spicy) paprika
1 Tbs Primo27 spice blend (opt, but soooo good)
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1-2 cups chicken or beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup of sour cream
cooked egg noodles
Begin by browning the pancetta over medium high heat in a large, deep oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven. If it doesn't have a lot of fat content, add a little bit of olive oil (or some saved bacon fat from your fridge...you know you have some....) To the browned pancetta, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until translucent. The original instructions say to cook the pepper separately, so it's not pictured here, but I don't see the need for that extra step, so feel free to cook them all together.
Next, with a slotted spoon remove the veggies and pancetta to a bowl and leave the drippings in the pot. Add the paprika and Primo27, if using, and mix through.
Now, brown the pork chops in the leftover fat, and add a little extra if needed.
Remove to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes, then cut into bite-sized cubes.
My chops were bone-in, so I cut out the bones and diced the meat, but added the bones back into the pot to cook all those full flavors into my stew. Add the meat back to the pot with the bacon and veggies, as well as the can of tomatoes and about 1 cup of broth. You want there to be enough liquid to handle a long, slow cook time in the oven and not dry out, but not too much that it's completely covered and swimming.
Give it a stir, cover, and put into a 300 degree oven for at least 2 hours, giving it a stir every 30-45 minutes or so. You want it bubbling ever so slightly, so adjust the heat accordingly. It is done when the sauce is reduced and thickened a bit, and the meat is falling apart and the bones are clean. I held mine at 200 degrees for a few hours while waiting for my husband to come home for dinner. Taste test and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, remove the bones, add the sour cream and mix through until creamy, and ladle over egg noodles.
It's incredibly delicious! I did not add it this time, but next time I will add some chopped sundried tomatoes for a little chewy, tangy bite.