Pork and Quince Stew – Kydonato (Χοιρινό Kυδωνάτο)
When cutting the lemon peel strips , avoid as much of the white pith as possible. Serve with roasted potatoes and a crisp green salad.
2 1/4 pounds bone-in pork butt or shoulder, or country-style ribs (1 1/2 pounds boneless)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups diced onion, 1/2” dice
1 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. whole allspice berries
3 bay leaves
2 4” strips of lemon peel
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Wash and dry the pork, cut the meat off the bones, remove any large pieces of fat, and cut the meat into 1” cubes. Season the cubes, and any bones, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the pork and bones until they are well-browned. Stir in the onions and sauté until they soften and begin to turn golden. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste until it is thoroughly combined. Stir in the water, allspice, bay leaves, and lemon peel. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, turn down the heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until the pork is very tender. Taste and add salt or freshly ground black pepper as needed.
While the pork is cooking, peel the quince, cut them into quarters, remove the core, and drop in acidulated water (water with lemon juice) to keep the quince from turning brown. Cut each quince quarter in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise; dry the quince pieces thoroughly.
Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the quince pieces, and cook until they are lightly browned on all sides. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the sugar and nutmeg over the quince, and toss to combine.
When the pork is tender, stir in the quince, and cook covered for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and lemon peel. Serve immediately, warning your guests not to eat the allspice berries.