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Stewed winter vegetables and smoked pork bites

It is a delicious winter comfort food inspired again by the Romanian tradition (it is called varza calita and literally means stewed cabbage).

The procedure is easy as a stir-fry but it has a richer, more intense taste due to the longer cooking time and the pork bites that gave it that unique Nordic twist. I don't actually eat the meat as it is quite fat, but I like the nice flavour that adds to the dish.


-2 or 3 courgettes

-A red onion

-Half white cabbage

-2 stalks of celery

-A big slice of celeriac

-A leek

-One potato

-A red paprika

-A big carrot

-Some chopped parsley

-Half teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes

-Some dried dill

-A bay leave

-Smoked pork bites


-Olive oil

-Clean and remove the skin off the vegetables first. Chop them into small squares except for the cabbage that has to be sliced as thinly as you can. The cabbage should be double in quantity than the rest of the vegetables.

-Chop thinly the onion and the leek.

-Pour a couple of olive oil spoons with some crushed chilli in a large pot and add the pork bites. Fry at high heat them until golden (the fat should melt as well and add flavour). It should take around 5 minutes.

-Add the leeks ad stir. Let them cook for another 5 min then add all the others vegetables.

-Add some water or vegetables stock (no more than a cup) and season it with salt and dried dill and the bay leave.

-Cover with a lid and let cook at low heat for 40 minutes stirring only now and then to make sure that the vegetables won't stick to the pot.

-Take off the bay leave and the dried dill. Serve hot accompanied with some good rustic bread and a rich red wine.

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Check out another of my Romanian recipes: