Dinner in Half, Well Really About an Hour

Posted on August 18, 2009 by psu

Today’s recipe takes a bit longer because there is more prep, but once you get through that you can play two full games of Madden while you wait for it to simmer. We’re making a pork stew with chili peppers and lime. This is based on a recipe that Karen found that is completely wrong, so I rewrote it. The last time I did this it turned out I had lamb instead of pork, and that’s not really the biggest change I made to the recipe. Then I forgot what I did. So now I’m writing it down.

Things you will need

  1. 3lb of pork shoulder, give or take.

  2. Juice from 3 to 4 limes.

  3. 2 dried ancho chili peppers.

  4. Onions and carrots.

  5. 1 or 2 canned chipotle peppers, in sauce (optional).

  6. 2T of chili powder. If pre-made chili power offends you, use whatever spice mix you like instead.

  7. 6 or 8 cloves of garlic.

  8. Bay Leaf.

  9. Some dried oregano.

  10. Chicken stock.

  11. Cast iron dutch oven, or your favorite soup pot.

Turn on the oven, set to 300F.

Start with a pork shoulder roast. The one I had was around 2-3lb of meat but I had to cut it off the bone, so I’m not really sure of the exact amount. Just get one at Whole Foods. The one I had was about that size. Anyway, cut the roast into half inch cubes. Try to make them as even as possible so everything cooks at the same rate. Put the meat in a bowl while you do the rest of the prep.

Dice two yellow onions. Then cut up six or seven carrots into a large dice. Next, smash the garlic with a knife and chop it up small. Finally, go to Penzey’s in the strip and get some dried ancho chili peppers. Open up two of them, take all the seeds out and then cut it into little pieces with some scissors.

Now heat up the pan over medium heat. We’re going to brown the meat in small batches. For each batch, take a bit of meat from the big bowl and put it in a small bowl. Throw some salt and pepper on top and toss it around to distribute the seasoning. Then add a bit of oil to the pan with the meat following. Brown the meat on all sides until it is nice and crusty. Be patient. Give yourself 5 to 10 minutes per batch.

When the meat is done, add a tiny bit of oil to the pan and throw in the onion, carrot and garlic. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute this for about five or ten minutes until the carrots look like they are starting to cook. By then the onions will be nice too. Now add the chili peppers and the dried spices. Stir this around and let it cook for a minute or two more. If you want a bit of extra heat, you can add some of those canned chipotle peppers. Just chop one or two up and throw them in along with some of the sauce.

Now add the pork back into the pot along with the chicken stock (and wine if you want) and the lime juice. Stir some more. Bring to a boil and then put this in the oven for a few hours. If the stew seems to have too much liquid, leave it not quite covered. Otherwise cook it covered.

Check on the pot every half an hour just to give it a stir. You’ll know it’s done when you can cut the meat with a spoon. This should take two to three hours. So play lots of Madden.

One warning: if you are getting good pork, it will have a lot of fat on it, which will end up in the stew as oil. You might end up with more than you want, so if you are sensitive to this, trim as much as you can off of the meat before hand, and maybe drain the fat from the meat and the pan while you are doing the browning. I generally don’t worry too much about this, but I ended up with a bit too much fat in my last attempt so I thought I would mention it.