I looked outside the window the other day and was stunned to realize that the tall cornfield out my back door was no more. Tan stubble, and a cloud of dust, had taken the place of waving, green, shock-topped sheaths. Because I work at home, I’ve learned to tune out external noise, but to have missed the harvest completely made me realize how cocooned I can become. There had been more dust, to be sure, but I’d ascribed that to changes in the weather. It has been cooler, lately. Now that the corn has been harvested, it’s time to start making stews again. One of my favorites is this Pork and Hominy Stew. Easy to toss together, with a hint of spice, it sets the change of seasons in motion.
Pork and Hominy Stew Recipe
2 T hot chile powder
2 tsp dried mexican oregano
Note: There are two types of culinary oregano, Turkish (which is sweeter and good for Mediterranean dishes) and Mexican, which coaxes out the nutty, spicy flavors found in Mexican chiles and salsa. Both varieties are available at Penzeys Spices.
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 T olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
2 carrots, diced
1 large salsa pepper (or jalapeño), minced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 1/2 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can hominy, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup light beer (a Pilsner works well)
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, diced
Combine chile powder, oregano, paprika, cumin and salt in a large bowl. Add pork to bowl, tossing well to coat.
Warm 1 T oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture to pot, cooking 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove pork from pot to clean bowl. Add 2 T oil to pan. Add onion, green pepper, salsa pepper and garlic, sautéing for 5 minutes, or until tender, but not browned.
Add beer to pot and raise heat to bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Return pork with any collected juices to the pot. Add broth, hominy and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add broth if stew looks dry. Add carrots and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and diced avocados. Cornbread is a nice accompaniment, and easy to whip up. I use the recipe on the side of the can.
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