Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mexican inspired pork stew

I sort of just made this up as I went along.

I bought a piece of pork shoulder from the 'Pork Butcher' skin on approx. 1.5kg.
I chopped it into bite sized pieces and sauted till nice and golden in olive oil in batches and removed from the pan.  Keep the heat at medium as to not create any burnt spots as this will spoil the overall taste of the stew. 

Then  finely slice 3 to 4 medium sized onions, 4 cloves of garlic and 3 peppers chopped widely into strips,  salt and pepper and brown off with olive oil till softened.  Cook this in the same pan that the meat was cooked in.  Cook on a gentle heat.  Deglaze with whatever you have on hand.  I used red wine, but white wine, stock or water will do the trick to release the tasty sticky bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add 2 cans of tinned whole or chopped tomatoes, 3 to 4 Chilpotle chillies in adobados sauce.  I have just discovered these.  I love the heat and the smokiness of these potent chillies.  I use the 'Morena' brand. 
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and some more salt to balance the sauce.   Also a bay leaf or 2 would n't hurt either.
Return the pork to the vege mixture.
Meanwhile you have pre heated the oven to about 150 degree C.
Bring the pan to a vigorous simmer and place into the oven with the lid on.
Let braise for an hour and bring out and give it a look and a stir.. then put it back in the oven for about another hour.  By this time the meat should be beautifully tender and the sauce will sticky and unctuous.
Taste and fine tune the seasoning.
It should be meaty sweet and smoky hot.

Any green herb on top, basil, coriander,parsley will work heavenly.  I used parsley as that was at hand.  Considering it now I probably should have gone out to the garden and  picked some coriander.
You could serve this with rice or buttery mashed potatoes.  I could n't be bothered peeling potatoes so we went with some ciabatta bread, not particularly Mexican but nonetheless yummy, especially when accompanied by guacamole and sour cream.

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