Slow Cooker Pork Belly and Celery Stew aka Avgolemono Frikase
Avgolemono Frikase ie. Slow Cooker Pork Belly and Celery Stew is the most mouth-watering Greek dish you will try that has a silky textured sauce with a refreshing lemon finish and tantalising aroma.
A few months ago I finally purchased a slow cooker and I must say it has changed my life. On those days that I know I will be busy or working from 7am till 7pm, it is nice to know that a warm meal is cooking away on its own and waiting for me at the end of the day. One of the first meals I experimented with was Pork Belly with Celery Stew. In Greek we call it AVGOLEMONO FRIKASE. It has got to be one of my favourite Greek recipes especially due to the creamy egg-lemon broth. It is the most mouth-watering sauce with a silky texture, refreshing lemon finish and tantalising aroma. I didn’t want to follow someone else’s recipe as I love the way I cook it on the stovetop so a few weeks back I experimented and posted the video on my instagram page. I had so many people ask me for the recipe that I had to re make it so I could write down the whole process, step by step and so here I am ready to hand it over to you.
Let’s begin with the pork belly. This has got to be my favourite cut. A little meat, a little fat and a little skin. OMG YUM. You first want to fry this until golden brown before adding it to the slow cooker. This way the meat develops a more complex and rich flavour and improves the dish. The first thing we add to the slow cooker is the celery. The reason for this is because you want it sitting in the pork juices! Not only does it tenderise the celery but adds so much flavour! Next you add the pork and potatoes, seasoning, herbs, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, vegetable stock and set it to cook.
My biggest recommendation is to make sure the slow cooker has been warmed up while you are preparing everything. Put it on up to 40 minutes prior to adding anything to it. The reason to do this is because it will take longer to cook if you place all the ingredients into a cold slow cooker. My second recommentaion is to add pre heated vegetable stock over the pork and vegetables. If you add cold or room temprerature stock to the already heated slow cooker, then you are bringing the temperature back down after warming it up in the first place. So remember: warm up the slow cooker and warm up the vegetable stock.
Okay, so I hope you try this recipe and let me know your thoughts. Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread nearby ready to soak up that silky sauce (I’m drooling just thinking about it) and if its not lemony enough just squeeze a little extra over the your dish. It refreshes the palette and makes you want more! Enjoy x
800g pork belly, chopped into thick chunks
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to drizzle)
2 large potatoes cut into 6-8 chunks
1 bunch celery, sliced into small pieces
1 large brown onion, chopped
1.5 cups vegetable stock
1-2 tbs fresh dill
freshly ground pepper
parsley to garnish
Silky Lemon Sauce:
Juice of 1- 2 lemons
1/2 -1 cup stock from the stew once it is cooked
1. Warm up the slow cooker while preparing and chopping up all the ingredients.
2. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the pork belly to a frying pan and cook until all sides are lightly browned. Add the onions and sauté for a minute before removing from heat.
3. Now that the slow cooker has warmed up add the celery and top it with the pork belly, onions and potatoes. Season with sea salt, pepper and add the dill.
4. Make sure you warm up or bring to boil the vegetable stock and pour it over all the ingredients.
5. Set slow cooker to high mode and cook for 6.5 hours. If your slow cooker has only one low temperature setting then cook it for a total of 8.5 hours. Don’t forget cooking times vary depending on brand and size of slow cooker.
6. Using a soup ladle scoop out a cup of liquid stock as set it aside to slightly cool. In a deep bowl (or nutribullet) add an egg and whisk it. Then add the lemon juice and continue to whisk. Now add the liquid stock and blend till well combined. (If you prefer the stew to have a thicker sauce / broth, then add a tbs of corn flour while blending).
7. Return the sauce to the slow cooker and pour all over. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes to thicken.
8. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread and kalamata olives. Enjoy!
Please note: There is stove top recipe for this under my "Greek Food" tab.