ITALIAN PORK SHOULDER STEW with potatoes and peas (Spezzatino)
Recipe type: stew
Cuisine: Italian
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
The Italian pork shoulder stew is a classic Italian Spezzatino (diced and slow cooked meat). This tasty recipe requires a several-hours-cooking but it's pretty easy to make. Potatoes and peas pair perfectly with the pork, and form a whole meal in a single dish! In this case, I used the pork shoulder, but you can prefer your favorite meat: in Italy, it is very common make stews using beef or lamb, or mixing different types of meats. The stew will be delicious just cooked, but even better one or two days after!
  • 1.5 Lb (800 g) pork shoulder
  • 1 Lb (450 g) golden potatoes
  • 15 oz (425 g) small peas, canned
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 5 tbsp double concentrated tomato sauce
  • 2 cups (500 ml) meat broth
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 splash extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • as needed table salt
  1. PORK SHOULDER DRY BRINEFirst, reduce the pork shoulder into dices 2 inches long per side. After that, combine 2 tsp of table salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, and 1 tsp of sweet paprika. Finally, rub the meat with the spices mixture, place in a bowl. Then, wrap and store in the fridge for 5 hours at least (best if 24 hours).
  2. PORK STEW SAUCEFirst of all, peel and slice a red onion. After that, melt the butter into a saucepan and add the onions, and the cloves, and the crushed juniper berries. Saute the onions over medium heat, stirring as needed, until tender but not caramelized.Now, peel and crush the garlic, then add it into the pan along with the double concentrated tomato paste. Themn, sautè a few minutes, stirring frequently, then add 1 cup of meat broth, and cook 10 minutes more.Finally, mix the pork stew sauce with a blender until smooth.
  3. SEARING THE MEATNow sear the pork shoulder dices. Grease a skillet (best if cast iron) with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, then place over high heat. After that, sear all sides of the meat, a few pieces at a time.
  4. SLOW COOKING SPEZZATINO WITH POTATOESAt this point, peel and dice the potatoes, same size of the meat. Now, pour the sauce into the saucepan, along with the meat, the potatoes, and a sprig of rosemary. Place the pan over low flame, and cook about 4 hours, until the meat results very tender, and the potatoes well done but still in shape. Check the sauce every once in a while: if the sauce comes to thick, add a ladle of boiling broth.
  5. SERVING THE ITALIAN PORK SHOULDER STEWThe Italian pork shoulder stew is delicious just cooked, but gives its best the day after.If you want to serve it immediately, once the potatoes are meat are almost done, add the small peas and cook 10 minutes more.In case you are preparing the Spezzatino in advance, take the saucepan out from the fridge, add the peas and re-heat the pan very slowly, then serve.
Recipe by philosokitchen at