Friday, September 28, 2012

Dinner and a Movie: Spellbound

For my version of this classic recipe, I used pork ribs instead of pork stew meat so that I could infuse the stew with all the fantastic minerals and gelatin/collagen from the bones. It's an easy switch that will add so much nutrition to your dinner. In "traditional foods" cookbooks, bone broths are typically cooked for hours and hours to get all the nutrients out of the bones. I found that just cooking this stew until the meat fell off the bones (about 2 1/2 hours) still gave me a huge amount of natural gelatin in the final product. (You'll notice that your leftovers will become the consistency of aspic.) It's worth it to hunt around for some really high quality pork. Keep an eye out for products that are Certified Humane or find local farmers who treat their pigs well. Happy pigs = tasty, nutritious pork.

Pork Stew

2 1/2 lbs pork ribs
3 quarts water (filtered, if possible)
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
10 cloves, placed in a tea ball or something similar that will make them easy to remove later
1 onion, chopped
8 carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths of similar thickness
4 medium potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/4 cup flour
Parsley, for serving

Cut the slabs of ribs into individual ribs and set aside. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the ribs until golden (you will have to work in batches).  Return the ribs to the dutch oven and add three quarts of cold (preferably filtered) water, salt and pepper, bay leaves and cloves. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for two hours.

Add onion, carrots and potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove ribs from the stew, pull the meat off the bones and return the meat to the stew. Make a slurry with the flour and liquid from the stew then stir the slurry into the stew and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Serve with minced parsley strewn over the top of the stew.

Serves 8

Adapted from "Double-measure Pork Stew" in Woman's Home Companion, March 1946.


The ad to the right is from the same issue of Woman's Home Companion as the pork stew recipe that inspired my version. Obviously, the pairing was meant to be. Ingrid Bergman plays Dr. Constance Petersen who works at an asylum that is expecting a new head psychiatrist, Dr. Edwardes (Gregory Peck). As soon as Edwardes arrives, there's major chemistry with Constance, but she soon starts to wonder whether Edwardes is really who he says he is. The tagline for the rerelease was "Will he kiss me or kill me?"

Best known for its DalĂ­-designed dream sequence, Spellbound isn't one of Hitchcock's absolute best films, but anything made by Hitchcock is better than average and Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck are enjoyable together. Like several other Alfred Hitchcock films, there's a train scene and a co-starring role for Leo G. Carroll.

left / top right / bottom right


  1. This stew looks so delicious, especially with the cooler weather! And I haven't seen Spellbound in far too long.

  2. Good morning Lauren! Believe it or not, I've never seen *Spellbound*! How could this be? I'll give both a whirl. Way to go with the addition of the rib bones...excellent idea.

  3. Oh I would love to cuddle up with that stew and a film right now, looks marvellous! xx

  4. Love the idea of using ribs. Ingird + Gregory - what a stunning couple. Great to see you back!

  5. It's getting to be stew weather - nothing beats warming up with a cozy bowl of something hearty. I'll be sure to simmer my meat soups/stews for a long time with the bones. Thanks for the tip! And it's nice to see you back!

  6. I haven't seen this movie in years. I wonder if I would enjoy it now as much as I did then. For years my favorite Hitchcock movie has been Lifeboat.

  7. Just new to your blog...will have to thank my friend for showing it to me. Love all the food makes me hungry just looking at the recipes. I noticed a picture you posted showing a Christmas eve pic of your parents house.. just wondering where it was with all that snow. Love all the extra pictures and movie info. Keep up the great work!!!

  8. I haven't seen this one in years either. Maybe it's time to queue it up for another look.

    Lauren I can't find the comments thingy up on your newer posts - wanted to post a comment. Where the heck is it?

    Anyway, all I wanted to say (about THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE)is that I don't know if I could watch film noir of the murderous variety while eating dinner.

    Maybe I could eat dessert instead. :)


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