You have to try this stewed pork recipe. Okra, okro, or “lady’s finger,” comes in green and red. Both varieties taste the same. It’s frequently used in Southern American and West African cuisine. Here, it adds texture to the dish.
Okra is a mild-tasting vegetable with a bit of peach fuzz on the pods. Inside are white round seeds that are tender and easy to eat when cooked. It pairs very well with pork since it has a more subtle flavor than say beef or lamb.
You may not be able to find okra depending on where you live. Or, it may not be the freshest. If you live in a warm place with ample access to water, you can grow it yourself. Just give each plant about 1-2 feet of space to mature fully.
If you don’t have a green thumb, frozen okra will work just fine in this recipe. But you’ll find the most frozen okra is already chopped. This allows the soluble fiber to escape from the pods as you cook the dish. It creates a sticky, almost slimy juice. Depending on who you ask, this adds richness to a dish.
Some people though think the fiber in the pods is unappealing due to its slimy texture. But, with this stewed pork recipe, you won’t even notice that. It actually helps thicken the sauce. Okra transforms what would be an ordinary pork stew into something with a deeper flavor with nice texture.
The recipe calls for cutting up the okra. This will release the soluble fiber inside the pod. It’s really great for digestion and helps thicken the stew. But if you just can’t stomach it, don’t cut the pods. Just trim the stem end and leave them whole. That way, the slime stays inside.
Okra is rich in nutrients and has antioxidant properties. It’s got a lot of fiber and vitamins C and K. So, it’s worth adding for its health benefits.
Wine Pairing with Stewed Pork
This stewed pork recipe is best paired great medium-bodied red wines. The okra is mild and the pork is mild. So, you don’t want a big and bold red with this dish.
Merlot would be great with this dish because it’s known as a silky wine. This is a silky dish with a sauce that’s thickened by okra. Most merlot lovers point to blackberry and herbs as the dominant flavor in this wine.
Most merlots will spend some time aging in oak. But, steer clear of bottles that were aged in heavily charred barrels or aged for a long time. These will add mouth-drying tannins to the wine, which will clash with a subtle dish like this.
Merlot is known for subtle tannins and moderate acidity. It’s just a nicely balanced dry red. You don’t always need a wine with a strong point of view. What’s needed is subtlety. That is what the right merlot will add to this food and wine pairing.
Merlot is commonly available in most grocery stores. There’s also a list of highly-rated merlots below. So, you shouldn’t have any problem making this pairing happen. But, if you don’t like merlot or can’t find it for some reason, here are a few other medium-bodied red wines to try with this stew.
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