Easy Pork and Leek Stew 🇬🇧

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What is pork and leek stew?
– Marinated pork pieces cooked with leeks, carrots, and apples in a flavourful herb-infused sauce.

Recipe Intro

Pork and leek stew is a popular dish in Britain and equally cherished across continental Europe, where slight variations may include the use of different vegetables such as sauerkraut, cabbage or kale.
This recipe version is boosted with aromatic herbs and sweet apples, making it a delicious match for the pork.

Essential Ingredients & Substitutes

Four fresh pork shoulder steaks pack from supermarket
pork shoulder steaks
Bunch of fresh organic leeks tied as flowers on garden table
Freshly prepared and cut leeks ready for cooking pork and leek stew
  • pork – Consider purchasing pork shoulder. This cut is marbled with just the right amount of fat, which adds flavour and moisture to the stew during cooking. Additionally, pork shoulder contains connective tissue that breaks down when slow-cooked, resulting in tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat that’s perfect for hearty stews.
    You can prepare it with chicken instead of pork, in this case, omit the grated apple, and add diced potatoes or mushrooms for additional texture and flavour.
  • leeks – Make sure to use both the white and green parts. While the white part is the most commonly used and has a milder flavour, the green part adds additional colour and a slightly more intense taste to the stew. Simply clean the leeks thoroughly and slice them thinly, using both parts to enhance the overall flavour and visual appeal of your dish.
  • carrots – Carrots add a natural sweetness and vibrant colour to the stew, while also providing a hearty texture and nutritional value. Slice or dice them to your preference before adding them to the pot.
    Feel free to add other root vegetables such as parsnips or sweet potatoes.
  • celery – Along with carrots and onions, creates a strong foundation for stews , offering woody, earthy notes. These three ingredients, part of the traditional mirepoix, caramelize and break down during cooking, adding depth to dishes. While celery’s flavour isn’t prominent, its subtle presence enhances the overall taste, particularly accentuating the meaty and umami flavours
  • apples – Opt for a crisp variety like Granny Smith for a refreshing contrast in your stew. However, if you prefer a sweeter dish, feel free to buy any apple variety of your choice to add a deliciously sweet touch to the recipe.
  • white wine – Any dry white variety will do. If you don’t have white wine on hand, you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. Just one tablespoon is enough to add acidity and depth to the stew. Alternatively, balsamic vinegar can be used, though it will slightly darken the sauce; in this case, add 1-2 tablespoons for a rich flavour. While red wine can work, it tends to be more intense and is better suited for beef dishes rather than pork.

Herbs & Spices

  • sweet paprika and cinnamon – Sweet paprika and cinnamon are essential for the special taste of the stew. If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, don’t omit it entirely; instead, add just a pinch for a subtle hint of warmth.
    For those who enjoy a bit of spiciness, consider adding hot paprika along with the sweet one. Additionally, if you have smoked paprika on hand, adding 1-2 teaspoons will enhance the flavour with a smoky undertone.
  • sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley – Herbs are essential, and I wouldn’t recommend removing any of them. Each contributes a distinct note to the dish. While I personally dislike sage’s aroma, when incorporated into this stew, it complements the pork perfectly, blending harmoniously with the other herbs for a delicious taste. Feel free to add extra parsley and thyme if you’re fond of them, but go easy on the sage and stick to the recipe. As for bay leaves, add at least three to enhance the stew’s flavour profile.

How to make pork and leek stew

Preparing the meat

  1. Start by gathering all your spices—sweet paprika, cinnamon, and your herb mix (basil, rosemary, sage, and thyme). Combine them in a small bowl and give them a good mix until they’re evenly blended.
  2. Take your pork shoulder and trim off any excess fat. Cut it into bite-sized cubes, then sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the pork. Add a few tablespoons of oil and massage the spices into the meat to ensure it’s well coated, then let it marinate in the fridge while you prep the other ingredients.
  3. Thinly slice the leek, but before slicing, make sure to wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit. Then, peel and grate the apple, and slice or dice your root vegetables (onions, garlic, carrots, celery, etc.)
  4. Heat a little oil in a larger pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add half of the marinated pork and brown it on all sides until it’s nicely golden. About 5 minutes is enough. This step adds flavour and texture to the meat. Once browned, transfer the pork to a plate and repeat with the second batch.
    Note: Frying the pork in batches ensures that each piece has enough space in the pot to brown properly. If you overcrowd the pot, the pork will release moisture, causing it to steam or boil rather than brown. Browning the meat in batches allows it to sear and develop a flavourful crust, enhancing the overall taste and texture of the stew.
Preparing marinade for pork and leek stew
Marinade spices mixed with pork pieces
Marinated pork meat, ready to use for easy pork and leek stew
Marinated pork meat ready to fry
Bowl of quickly fried marinated pork pieces
Fried marinated pork

Cooking pork and leek stew

  1. In the same pot, add the chopped onion and leek and sauté it until it’s soft and translucent. This should take about 5 minutes. Then, add vegetables and cook them for another 5 minutes until they start to soften slightly.
  2. Now, it’s time to deglaze the pot. Pour in a splash of white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. This adds flavour to the stew. Next, add the grated apple, browned pork pieces and remaining spice and herb mixture, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour in enough water to cover the meat and vegetables in the pot. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for about 1 to 1.5 hours. This allows the flavours to meld together and the meat to become tender.
  4. After simmering, give the stew a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can also add any additional herbs or spices at this stage to tailor the flavour to your liking.
Frying chopped leeks and onions
Frying leeks and onion
Added grated apples to leeks and onions
Added carrots and grated apples
Added fried marinated pork pieces to vegetables
Fried marinated pork added to the vegetables
Simmering pork and leek stew
Easy pork and leek stew simmering

What to Serve with Pork and Leek Stew

Enjoy this easy pork and leek stew with your favourite homemade bread, or pair it with potatoes, rice, or a crisp salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
This dish can also be enjoyed as a hearty soup by adding extra water. Alternatively, allowing the liquid to evaporate creates a thicker consistency, perfect for serving as a main meal.

A delicious bowl of pork and leek stew served with brown bread
A comforting bowl of hearty pork and leek stew served alongside rustic brown bread
Pork and leeks stew served with sliced balsamic potato

I also served it up alongside some special roasted potatoes that added the perfect touch of sweetness to the meal. If you’re curious about how to make these delicious potatoes, I’ll be sharing the recipe soon!

As St. David’s Day approaches, this pork and leek stew offers a perfect way to celebrate Welsh heritage and tradition with a hearty and delicious dish.

Enjoy!

Recipe Card

Easy Pork and Leek Stew

Pork and Leek Stew: A satisfying and flavourful one-pot meal featuring tender pork, aromatic leeks, and a medley of vegetables.
Servings 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500 g pork shoulder
  • 2 leek
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 apple - grated
  • 1 onion
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil - for marinade
  • sunflower oil - for frying

SPICES

  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 5-6 bay leaf - or 2-3 bay leaves
  • salt, pepper - to taste

Instructions

  • Mix all the spices.
  • Trim the pork of excess fat and cut it into small pieces, put in a bowl. Then add half of the spice mixture and oil and let it marinate.
  • In a deep pot, heat a little oil and fry half of the pork until browned on all sides. Once done, set it aside and brown the second batch of pork.
  • Finely chop the leek, and other vegetables, and peel and grate the apple.
  • In the same pot where you fried the pork, add onions and leek and sauté until softened. Then add the carrots, deglaze with wine, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Next, add grated apple, fry for another 2-3 minutes and add meat and other half of spices, salt, pepper, and enough water to cover the meat.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour – 1.5 hour or until the meat is tender.

Notes

The total calorie count for this recipe is approximately 1920. Based on 4 servings, each person will consume approximately 480 calories per serving. Please be aware that these values are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as ingredient brands and portion size.
Calories: 480kcal
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: British, Classic
Diet: Low Calorie, Low Fat

Do you often cook with pork and leek?

I’d love to learn about similar dishes from your country that use these ingredients! If you decide to try the recipe, I’d love to hear about your experience!
Please let me know in the comments below.

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