A few months ago, I landed a recipe development gig for a national beef jerky brand. The assignments have stretched me. It is challenging to create interesting and tasty dishes using beef jerky as the main ingredient, but it’s a lot of fun trying, too. The experience has pushed my creativity in the kitchen overall and I am especially proud of this dish that I created last week. I am still trying to adhere to the paleo diet, though I am not always successful, but this dish fits the bill.
I love this dish for its simple complexity. The smoky flavor from the pork neck, combined with the spicy sausage and salty bacon is divine. There are very few spices flavoring this dish- it all comes from the meats, which makes it a pretty simple dish to create. Top it with a poached egg, and its simply heavenly. The best part? It is made in a slow cooker, which makes it even easier to prepare.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. spicy red pepper Italian Sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces, casings removed
- 1 lb. bacon, chopped
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup organic chicken broth
- 2 smoked pork necks
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 oz. spinach, chopped
- 4 eggs, poached
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil and add chopped onions. Cook until slightly browned. Add garlic and stir, cooking for 1 more minute. Add the Italian sausage and heat until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
While the onions and sausage are cooking, place the bacon pieces in a medium pan and cook until crispy.
Place the diced tomatoes, sweet potato, chicken broth, and pork necks in a slow cooker and set to cook for 8 hours. Add the Italian Sausage and onion mixture and the bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.
With one hour remaining on the slow cooker, add the spinach. When done, remove the smoked pork neck, scrape meat from bones and place the meat back into the stew.
Ladle into bowls and top with poached egg.
*Poached egg preparation: bring water to boil in a small pot. Add a few drops of rice vinegar. Remove from heat. Crack egg into a small bowl and gently pour into the water. Use a fork to gather the egg whites around the yolk. Cover for 4 minutes.