I always wanted an indoor herb garden, but all Jim grows inside are flowering plants. He rotates the plants between a downstairs room and our upstairs living room and we always, ALWAYS have a flowering plant on the side table next to his chair. Once the flowers are done he takes the plant downstairs and brings a different flowering plant up. How he does this I don’t know, but since I am a certified plant killer, it is better for me not to. Fresh herbs would have been nice for the stew but I like flowers too.

I got a large flat of loin chops that have a T-shaped bone with loin on one side and tenderloin on the other. These can be challenging to cook since both loin and tenderloin are present. They should be quickly sear-roasted and grilled or broiled or brined to keep the meat moist. What would be simpler than to make a gulyás, but I opted for an oven stew and seasoned with freshly dried herbs from the garden. If you think a few sprinkles of herbs will do the trick, ahem no. I grabbed handfuls of dried herbs and crushed them by hand. Fresh herbs would have been even better, but at the end of November in Canada this is the best anyone can do.

Herbed Oven Pork Stew

4 pork steaks or bone in loin chops
3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, chopped finely
salt to taste
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 red peppers
2 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 handful of each herb:
parsley, tarragon, basil and marjoram, fresh or crushed if dry

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Wash the meat and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Cut into the layer of fat around the chops, so they won’t curl up during roasting.
  • Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pot on the stove and slide in the chops.
  • Sear both sides of the meat.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add the onions.
  • Sprinkle salt around the pot to taste.
  • Sauté the onions for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
  • Finally add water to just cover the meat.*
  • Cover the pot and place in the oven.
  • Bake until the meat is tender. This could take anywhere from one hour up to two and a half.      
* The amount of water will depend on the thickness of the chops and the size of your pot. I like a lot of juice, but if you want a thicker sauce, add less water. If you end up with too much broth, transfer it to a small pot and reduce it, but don’t use a thickener. I liked mine as it came out of the oven. This is a very satisfying stew with mashed potatoes.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!