One of the best ways to treat tougher cuts of pork is to cook them low and slow, and this rule applies to the stove as much it does the grill. In this yummy, hearty-but-healthy spring stew, we’re braising cubes of pork loin roast (not tenderloin), and adding 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 for 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…), don’t leave out the tomatillos. Their widely available at larger supermarkets or Latin American groceries, and 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 stalks celery, 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
2 ½ lbs. pork loin roast, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 32 oz. carton chicken stock
Garnishes: tortilla strips or tortillas, sliced avocado, lime wedges, sour cream and fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a Dutch oven heat ¼ cup olive oil to medium high and add peppers, onion, tomatillos, carrots, celery corn and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. While the vegetables are sautéing, add flour, cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to a gallon-size food storage bag. Add cubed pork to bag, seal and shake until pieces are fully coated.
Remove vegetables from pot. Add remaining ¼ cup olive oil to pot, heat to medium high and add pork cubes, shaking off excess flour before placing in pot. Brown pork on all sides. With pork remaining in pot, add tomato paste. Whisk in chicken stock until paste is fully incorporated. Add tomatoes & green chilies. Return vegetables to pot. Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon coriander. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 1 hour, or place in slow cooker for 3 hours on low. Serve with black beans and yellow rice. Top with garnishes and serve.