Coriander Cumin Cilantro
The earthy and aromatic flavours of the southwest ensure that dipping into this stew will be a very satisfying and pleasurable experience.
…the perfect cure for a mid-winter day….
Since the stew is not overly hot and spicy, serving spicy Chili Cornbread Muffins alongside creates a perfect partnership. But, so would some warm tortillas, or some fresh bread …or serve it over some mashed potatoes or steamed rice.
Tips for making a great Southwestern Pork Stew:
- Trim the roast of the big chunks of fat, but not all the fat – this cut of pork has delicious marbling and needs some of the fat to make the end-product melt-in-your-mouth. Meat should be cubed uniformly; cubes should not be too small (meat will dry out); cubes should not be too large (you don’t want to eat stew with a fork and knife). Vegetables should also be cut to be about the same size… this makes for easy, beautiful eating.
- Browning the pork pieces prior to stewing translates into big flavour. Take the necessary time to brown all sides of the pork cubes, ensuring that the pieces do not crowd together in the pan. You may need to do a few batches.
- Slow and low is the rule for a stew. The surface should just barely break a simmer as it stews. Allow 3 hours from start to finish.
- A slowcooker could be used instead of a stew pot on top of the stove; or if your stew pot is oven-proof, place it in the oven on low heat (2750 F) for the length of time suggested.
- Freezing leftovers for another day is a great idea!
Southwestern Pork Stew
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 2 ½ -3 hours
Number of Servings: 6-8
4-5 pound (2-2.5 kg) boneless pork shoulder, or pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons (10 mL) kosher salt
Several grinds of black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground coriander
3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
1 large onion, medium-dice
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, uniformly sliced or diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups (375 mL) stock – chicken or beef
1 can (796 mL; 28 fluid ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 mL) cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 small can (127 mL) mild chopped green chilies
1 medium yam, peeled, cut into uniform cubes
1/3 to ½ cup (85-125 mL) of chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup (85 mL) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt; freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour mixed with a little stock (if necessary)
- Toss the pork pieces with the seasonings.
- Heat some of the olive oil in a large heavy stew pot, or a Dutch oven.
- When oil is hot, add enough pork pieces to cover the bottom of the pot, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until brown on all sides (around 6-8 minutes); Transfer the browned pork to a bowl, and add another layer of pork pieces (use a little more oil if necessary).
- Continue in this fashion until all pork pieces have been browned.
- Add a little stock or water to the pot to dissolve any cooked-on juices that have been created. Pour this reduction over the browned pork pieces in the bowl. Discard this reduction if the cooked-on juices are on the burnt side.
- Add a little more olive oil to the pot; Reheat, and add the onions, celery, and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly soft. Add the minced garlic. Continue to cook for an additional minute or two.
- Return the browned pork to the pot and heat through.
- Add the stock, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and the bay leaves.
- Gently bring to a simmer, and set the heat so that the stew just barely bubbles. Cover, and keep at a very low simmer for about 1 ½ hours. Stir the stew occasionally during this time.
- Add the green chilies and cubed yam. Bring stew back to the gentle simmer, and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until the all vegetables and the pork are tender (taste is the best test).
- Discard the bay leaves and add the cilantro and parsley. Heat through (3 minutes).
- If the stew is too thin, add the flour-stock mixture at this point, and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes to thicken the mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with extra chopped cilantro.
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