One of the best ways to treat tougher cuts of pork is to cook them low and slow. This rule applies to the stove as much as it does the grill. In this yummy, hearty-but-healthy spring stew, we braise cubes of pork loin roast (not tenderloin), and add lots of vegetables, earthy spices and fresh tomatillos.
This recipe is easy and forgiving. Follow it to the letter if you like, or take it in a direction that works for you. It performs well in a slow cooker, and while I’ve pre-sautéed all the components here, you could toss everything in a Crock-Pot, and cook it on low for several hours, depending on your settings.
No matter how you cook it, or what else you choose to add (black beans, hominy, etc.), don’t leave out the tomatillos. They are widely available at larger supermarkets or Latin American groceries. Their citrusy flavor keeps the stew fragrant, light and perfect for spring.
Pork and tomatillo stew
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into discs
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
Several turns fresh ground pepper
2½-pound pork loin roast, cubed
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 32-ounce carton chicken stock
Garnishes: tortilla strips or tortillas, sliced avocado, lime wedges, sour cream and fresh cilantro
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil to medium high. Add the peppers, onion, tomatillos, carrots, celery, corn and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. While the vegetables are sautéing, add the flour, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the coriander, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper to a gallon-size food storage bag. Add the cubed pork to the bag. Seal and shake until the pieces are fully coated.
Remove the vegetables from the pot. Add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and heat to medium high. Add the seasoned pork cubes, shaking off excess flour before placing in the pot. Brown the pork on all sides. With the pork remaining in the pot, add the tomato paste. Whisk in the chicken stock until the paste is fully incorporated. Add the tomatoes and green chilies. Return the vegetables to the pot. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of coriander. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 1 hour, or place in a slow cooker for 3 hours on low. Serve with black beans and yellow rice. Top with garnishes and serve.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.