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Moroccan-Flavored Pork Ragu

March/April 2007

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (27 votes)

This type of stew is normally cooked slowly for a few hours using tougher and fattier meat from the shoulder or rib area, but this quick version uses lean boneless pork chops. The lean meat becomes dry and hard when overcooked, so do pay attention to the cooking times. Serve over couscous, bulgur or rice, and garnish with a blend of 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons chopped scallions and 1 tablespoon chopped mint.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I love the flavor of this. I actually split into 6 instead of 4 servings, and served over brown rice. Very flavorful - can't wait to see how the leftovers taste, when the flavors have had time to settle in. "
Moroccan-Flavored Pork Ragu

Makes: 4 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, plus 1 pinch, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops, (1 inch thick), trimmed of fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup butternut squash, diced (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon, chopped rinsed, (see Note; optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch ground allspice

Preparation

  1. Zest and juice the lemon(s) to get 1 tablespoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice; reserve the zest. Combine the juice, 1/2 teaspoon oil, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ginger in a medium bowl. Add pork; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until no longer pink on the outside and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
  3. Add broth, squash, carrots, chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, preserved lemon (if using), tomato paste, garlic, hot sauce, cinnamon, allspice, the reserved lemon zest and the remaining pinch of ginger to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the pork, return to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the pork is just cooked through, 2 to 5 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: The pork can be marinated (Step 1) for up to 4 hours.
  • Note: Although entirely optional, preserved lemons make this ragu more authentic. A signature flavor in Moroccan dishes, lemons that are preserved in a salt-lemon juice mixture for at least 30 days have a salty, sweet taste and tender texture. Find them at specialty food stores or online at surlatable.com.

Nutrition

Per serving: 332 calories; 11 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono); 67 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 30 g protein; 7 g fiber; 306 mg sodium; 798 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (240% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Potassium (23% dv), Folate (18% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat


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