Recipes from Home: Fresh Pork Stew with Hocks, Cheeks & Ears and Irish Buttermilk Parsley Dumplings

Menu Part: 
Entree
Cuisine Type: 
European
Serves: 
Serves 10 to 14

Brendan Ryan, foodservice director, Framingham School District, Massachusetts, says: My mother would burn water. My father was mister mom. If it weren’t for my father, we would have all starved to death. This is an old Irish recipe made by my father, who was from Limerick, but was modified with the use of pork butt and hocks. This would classically be called Pig’s Head Stew made by the poor, with the head being slowly stewed until all the meat was tender. They didn’t have much money, so they made stew from the pig’s head. You don’t see a lot of the products used in traditional Irish cooking over here.

Ingredients

Stew:
3 cups flour
Salt and white pepper to taste
6 to 8 lbs. fresh pork butt, cut into large 2-in. pieces
4 fresh ham hocks, blanched, clean of all hair and debris
6 to 8 fresh pig ears, blanched, clean of all hair and debris
6 to 8 fresh pig cheeks, blanched, clean of all hair and debris
8 oz. olive oil
2 lbs. Spanish onions, large dice
2 lbs. carrots, large dice
1 lb. celery, large dice
2 gals. chicken stock or any clear neutral stock
6 bay leaves
8 sprigs fresh thyme
3 lbs. Irish-style potatoes, pealed
2 lbs. parsnips, large dice
1 bunch parsley, chopped fine, rinsed
¼cup parsley, chopped, rinsed, for garnish

Dumplings:
4 cups flour
8 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½cup unsalted butter, melted

Steps

1. For stew: Heat large 4-gal. heavy-bottom pot or rondeau pot with lid.

2. Season flour with salt and pepper.

3. Dredge pork butt meat, hocks, ears and cheeks in seasoned flour. Make sure to remove all excess.

4. Add oil to pot. Once oil slightly smokes, add pork in small patches so not to overcrowd bottom of pot.

5. Lightly sear all areas of pork pieces. Remove and set aside. Note: Do not overbrown meat. This is a white or light colored stew.

6. Add onions, carrots and celery to pot and briefly sauté.

7. Add all meat back into pot. Cover with stock. Add bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil. Then lower to a simmer, making sure all product is free from sticking to bottom of pot. Cover and cook, stir occasionally so stew does not stick.

8. Once all meat is fork tender and hocks have pulled down on bones, add potatoes, parsnips and parsley. Cover and cook for 15 mins.

9. For Dumplings: Combine all dry ingredients and set aside.

10. Combine eggs, buttermilk and melted butter.

11. Stir liquid ingredients into dry to form stiff batter that is able to be scooped and hold shape.

12. Scoop dumplings onto top of simmering stew, gently dropping mixture so it floats on top of stew.

13. Cover and cook about 20 mins. at a simmer, or until dumpling is firm to the center.

14. Adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish with parsley

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

Read the full story...

Industry News & Opinion

University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

Sponsored Content
gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

Industry News & Opinion

Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

FSD Resources