Imagine chunks of pork butt or "blade" as they're calling it now, slowly braised in white wine and chicken stock with the added punch of anaheim and green bell peppers, lots of onions and garlic and lovely cumin too. Add capers for saltiness, yams for sweetness, red wine vinegar for a touch of the sour and cilantro as a final kiss of flavor and I guarantee the end result will knock your socks off. Oh, we can't forget about the beans either.
One of Big Guy's favorites, this pork 'n pepper combination is also known as Santa Fe Pork Stew and we have Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso and the New Basics Cookbook to thank for it. Personally, we've thanked them for their ingenuity every one of the many times we've enjoyed this pot of deliciousness and we'll be thanking our lucky stars again because it's a definite "classic" in our books. Perfect for a relaxed Sunday dinner at the beach. If you haven't already tried it, you've got to give it a go because believe me there's a lot more to "stew" than the usual beef version.
Oh, in case you're wondering what Big Guy's doing on his first official day of retirement - well, he's off buying a lawnmower and a chainsaw. He's not about to let any grass grow under his feet! (Punny isn't she?)
Santa Fe Pork Stew (by JBug's Kitchen Antics adapted from The New Basics Cookbook)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Flour for dredging
2 medium onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 anaheim peppers, seeded, ribs removed and diced
2 sweet potatoes (1-1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
6 cloves of garlic, minced (divided)
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained (divided)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper (divided)
1 can black beans or pinto beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 350. In large dutch oven with lid heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Dredge pork shoulder in flour and sauté in batches until pork is well browned. Remove from pot and set aside.
In same pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add chopped onions, green bell pepper , Anaheim peppers and half the garlic (3 cloves, minced). Cook until vegetables are soft. Add one tablespoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Return browned pork to pan, add 2 tablespoons capers, sweet potatoes, white wine, chicken stock, red wine vinegar and Italian parsley. Bring to a boil then cover and place in the oven for 1-1/2 hours.
After 1-1/2 hours, remove cover from pot and add remaining 1 tablespoon of capers, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon black pepper and black beans. Return to oven and cook uncovered for additional 25 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary. Fold in cilantro, being careful not to break up potatoes. Serves 6.