Abruzzo!! Abruzzo!! Abruzzo!! I love saying it! When I finally get to Italy, this is where I’m headed. Why not Rome, Milan, Tuscany? Yes, I do want to see it all. But, if you think about it, when friends and family travel to Italy you don’t often hear “We’re going to the Abruzzo region.”
Well, this is because I assume that most folks are not obsessed with peasant cooking to the extent I am. Abruzzo is considered the birthplace of peasant cooking among the Italians. Not to mention it is home to Montepulciano, one of my favorite Italian wines.
This pork “stew-like” dish that we are about to prepare is inspired by the centuries-old dish called Cif & Ciaf originating from the province of Chieti. The traditional recipe uses lower-end quality cuts from the pig such as the jowl and parts of the ribs. In my rendition, we are going to use straight-up “country style ribs” which are actually the part of the shoulder by the blade. Still an inexpensive cut but guaranteed scrumptious.
So let’s begin . . .
I like doing this one in enamel-covered cast iron such as Le Creuset or something similar. If you don’t have the type of cookware a good quality heavy gauge medium-sized pot will be just fine.
Let’s get all of our ingredients prepped and ready to go.
Slice one medium carrot into 1/4 inch thick circular pieces and mince the other medium-sized carrot.
Mince 1/2 onion and 1 celery stalk
Smash three garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife but keep intact.
Quarter the hot peppers by slicing them from top to bottom and removing the pith and seeds. I like using about 3 small hot peppers of any variety with each one being a different color. Find yourself a heat index chart online if you are concerned about the heat. I like going on the lower end of the heat chart for this dish.
Use a coarse chop on the marjoram. Do not go crazy chopping it into submission. Just a little “chop-chop” and that’s it.
Cut the pork into 1 ½ inch cubes. Kind of like you would do beef for a beef stew but just a little bit smaller.
Heat up the olive oil in the pot on medium heat.
Season the pork then dredge in flour. Shake off all excess flour and place the pork cubes into the pot tossing them periodically to get all sides lightly browned. This should only take a couple of minutes. We do not want to cook the pork at this stage. Just lightly brown it.
Turn up the heat to high and add the white wine. Once most of the wine aroma has dissipated add the carrots, onions, garlic, and celery. Toss everything together using a wooden spoon lower the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Now add the diced tomatoes and coarsely chopped marjoram. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.
Place in your favorite platter and serve immediately with some nice rustic Italian bread.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for visiting my blog!
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs of country-style pork ribs cubed 1 ½
All-purpose flour for dredging
1 ½ cup of dry white wine.
3 garlic cloves smashed but left intact (remove before serving if desired)
½ Spanish onion minced
2 medium carrots (one sliced, one minced)
1 stalk of celery minced
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
Level tablespoon of coarsely chopped marjoram
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste