Roast + Root Stew with Savory Skillet Cornbread

This is a great winter meal, and pair’s big, robust pork flavors with well utilized winter vegetables. The cornbread is needed, of course, to soak the prized broth up as well as adds a sweet element to this incredibly savory dish. You can also prepare both of these recipes ahead of time, and they both lend themselves just as well to a low-key dinner party as a private night home. As with most stews, the longer it sits, the better it gets.

For the Stew:

3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Links of Good Sausage (recommend Andouille)
2 Bone-In Pork Chops
½ c. White Wine
1 Lrg. Onion, finely diced
1 Leek, white part only, finely diced
2 Stalks of celery, finely diced (use the celery leaves too!)
1 Lrg. Parsnip, peeled, and finely diced,
1 lrg garlic clove, minced
1 sm sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
1 sm. Russet potato, peeled and finely diced
1-2qts. of water or any stock/broth you have on hand (chicken, beef, or vegetable)


1) Season pork chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2) In a large pot (dutch oven style pot is best) heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

3)  When the oil begins to “shimmer” and is almost smoking, place the pork chops in the pan and begin to sear them. When one side of the chop is nice and caramelized (crispy brown in color) flip and repeat on the other side. If you think the heat is too high, or your pan is making more noise than you are used to, weather through it. This is a crucial step that helps to season as well as add flavor to your stew. When both sides are brown and crispy, remove chops from the pot and place them in a stainless steel bowl or similar vessel (this helps keep all the juice that will weep off of the meat in one place so you can later introduce it back to the stew and you won’t lose any flavor).

4) Repeat step 3, only with the andouille sausage. Once your sausage is caramelized, remove and place in the same bowl your pork chops are resting in.

5) Add all of your chopped vegetables except the garlic and sweet and russet potatoes to the searing oil.

6) Reduce the heat on the pan to medium and sauté the vegetables in the searing oil for 8-10 min.

7) Add your garlic and diced potatoes. Sautee for another 2-3 minutes.

8) After the vegetables are sautéed, deglaze the pan by simply adding the wine to the pot with the vegetables. Once you pour the wine in, steam will evaporate and a great aroma will come out of the pot. Carefully stir regularly while getting all the bits off the bottom of the pan (use a wooden spoon). Do this for 2 minutes.

9) Next poor your water or stock over the vegetables and allow to come to a simmer.

10) While you are waiting for your mixture to simmer, slice the sausage in to soup soon size pieces. Do the same with you pork chop. Simply trim the bone off of the pork chops and place the bones in your simmering liquid. (This will lend amazing flavor to your stew and can be removed at the end easily.)

11) Once your liquid has come to a simmer and your pork chop bones have been introduced, add your sliced meats to the pot.

12) Reduce to a light simmer and allow the stew to do this for about 30 minutes.

13) Remove bones from stew, and season to taste. (Do this by adding small amounts of salt and pepper at a time, alternating with tasting, so you know when your stew tastes just right.)

14. Pour in to a bowl and enjoy with a nice slice of your skillet cornbread (recipe follows).

For the Cornbread:

1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. of strained broth from your stew at room temperature
½ tsp baking soda
1 c. ground cornmeal (yellow or white)
1 c. All Purpose Flour
½ tsp salt

Equipment: Cast Iron Skillet or buttered loaf pan


1) Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit

2) In the skillet (or separate pot if using loaf pan), melt the butter. Turn heat off as soon as the butter melts.

3) Add the sugar to the melted butter in the skillet pan and mix with a rubber spatula. Allow your butter mixture to cool slightly while you do the next step.

4) In a separate bowl mix together the baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt, and set aside.

5) Add the two eggs to the butter and sugar mix, one at a time, completely incorporating the first egg before adding the second egg.

6) Once the eggs are completely combined, add the cup of liquid and mix.

7) Add all your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the skillet and slowly mix together with the rubber spatula.

8) Mix until it just comes together but is still lumpy (don’t overmix).

9) Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.