Cévennes Pork , Kale & Chestnut Stew

This is the second recipes from the Cévennes region   following on from  Spatchcocked Guinea Fowl with Rosemary and Pancetta .  These  recipes were provided by Rosy Thornton to complement her new Tapestry of Love.

The book is set in this French Mountainous region and this recipe should have been made with Wild Boar (still prolific in the forests in Cévennes).  Wild Boar is now being farmed in England,  some have even escaped into the wild,  I couldn’t find any available locally. Rosy assured me Pork would do ( and Wild Boar will remain on my list of things to try)

This dish appealed as perfectly autumnal, chestnuts woods are gorgeous this time of year in England , although from experience a little dangerous as light breezes bring down showers of  spiny chestnuts . In the book Rosy describes Chestnuts as “buttery mouthfuls …. like biting into marshmallows” a long slow stewing ensure this texture rather than a chewy or floury taste

This recipe make enough for 4  and as a one pot dish,  I think all it needs is some bread to mop up the juices.

The final recipe I will be posting is a Cévenol Picnic Pie, designed to be carried out into the fields by herdsmen and farmers, layers of potatoes and onions with fragrant herbs,  it’s going in the lovely boyfreinds pack-up this week.

For more information on Tapestry of Love and Rosy Thornton , you can visit her website http://rosythornton.com/

Cévennes Pork , Kale & Chestnut Stew

100g smoked pork sausage ( you could also use chorizo) cut into 1/2 cm hunks
50g of dry cured pork ( or pancetta)
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 kg of stewing pork can be used as a substitute; chump end is good for the dish)
100g dried white beans (haricot or cannellini are good)
2 pints chicken stock
2 handfuls of  chestnuts left whole
2 medium potatoes cut into 1 cm cubes ( squash would also work)
3-4 good handfuls of greens ( spring greens, Swiss chard or cavolo nero)
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
4 bay leafs
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Soak the beans overnight if using dried beans
  2. Place the bacon and onions in a good-sized, heavy pot or casserole dish.
  3. Cook over a medium for 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the garlic and  pork, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown the pork
  5. Add the beans ,  chestnuts and enough of the stock to cover
  6. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, and season with pepper.
  7. Cover the pot and bring to a gentel simmer and place in the ovenl and then place pot in the oven at 150deg for an 2.5 hours
  8. Check from time to time and add more stock if it seems to be drying out
  9. Half way through cooking, add the potatoes , sausage and any remaining stock
  10. Finally 20 minutes before serving add the greens and season with salt,  turn the oven off but return the pan to the oven .

Even better is to do every stage except add the greens and leave in the oven ( turned off ) overnight to allow everything to mingle
To serve simply add the greens and heat the dish through

Click on images for other recipes



  1. I love chestnuts and don’t cook with them enough. This sounds delicious and I can really imagine how well the flavours all work together.

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