French-style pork stew recipe

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In the realm of stews, pork is often either overlooked in favor of other proteins or overpowered by more-assertive ingredients. We wanted a robust and satisfying (but not heavy) stew that put pork at the forefront. We took inspiration from a classic French dish, potée, a stew that uses multiple parts of the pig, at least one of which is always smoked, to yield a deep, meaty flavor. For our version, we chose a mix of pork butt for a base of tasty, succulent meat; collagen-rich smoked ham hocks, which would impart a silky consistency and smokiness; and kielbasa for a firm bite and additional smoky flavor. For our vegetables, the traditional potatoes, carrots, and cabbage were perfect. We started to build a flavorful backbone in our Dutch oven by cooking onion, garlic, and herbes de Provence. We then added our liquid (mostly water, to keep the stew from becoming heavy, plus chicken broth, to prevent the flavors from becoming washed out) and the pork and ham hocks. Because the pork would take 2 hours to become perfectly tender, we added our other ingredients in stages to prevent them from becoming mushy. About halfway through, we removed the ham hocks to shred the meat, which we added back to the stew. A final sprinkle of fresh parsley rounded out our flavors and added freshness. Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket. Serve with crusty bread.

  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 3 pounds boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1¼ pounds smoked ham hocks, rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth, plus extra as needed
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick
  • ½ head savoy cabbage, cored and sliced thin (8 cups)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
How to Make It
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and herbes de Provence and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add pork, ham hocks, water, and broth and bring to simmer. Cover, transfer pot to oven, and cook until pork is tender, 1¼ to 1½ hours.
  2. Remove pot from oven. Transfer ham hocks to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces using 2 forks; discard skin and bones and set aside. Stir potatoes and carrots into stew, return pot to oven, and cook, covered, until vegetables are almost tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in ham hocks, kielbasa, and cabbage, cover, and continue to cook in oven until kielbasa is heated through and cabbage is wilted and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from oven. Adjust consistency of stew with extra hot broth as needed. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

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