Pork & Tomatillo Stew
Sunday is my favorite day of the week. It happens to be my “day off” and I usually start it very early in the morning with a cup of coffee and a food magazine sitting in the couch. Having “me” time and planning (in my head) what I will make for dinner before everyone wakes up. I’ve been wanting to make this Pork & Tomatillo stew since late fall when I took a cooking class where we made pork three different ways. I had been waiting for that perfect cold and snowy Sunday when you want to spend the day in pajamas and have a hearty meal to warm you up.
Chef Kevin Appleton is an instructor for the Culinary Arts program at Madison College and I am extremely lucky that he is doing a new series of courses for home cooks to share his wisdom and passion about ingredients and cooking methods. I took the Culinary Kitchen Basics 2 class last fall and I am super thrilled for other classes coming up. This recipe was one that we made in class, at home I gave it a little spin, added some ingredients and made it very mild so that my kids would eat it. Needless to say, everyone loved it!!
This Pork and Tomatillo Stew recipe has lots of ingredients but don’t be intimidated by it. I had many of these ingredients already in the pantry and I am sure that you probably have them too. Definitely a Sunday Supper that will allow you to do some chores while it slow cooks in the oven and fills the house with the aromas of a hearty and exquisite stew. This is a great recipe for entertaining a crowd or simply to save half of the stew in the freezer and have it later during the week on a busy night.
1 pound tomatillos
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
2 Large celery ribs, finely diced
1 Large sweet onion, finely diced
1 Medium fennel bulb
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
3 Medium carrots, cut into 1/2 pieces
3 Garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Cup dry white wine
2 Cups low sodium chicken broth
3 Large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 lime quartered & Cilantro leafs for garnish (optional)
Husk the tomatillos, wash them and dry them with a clean towel. Cut them up in 1 inch dices. In a cookie sheet pan spread the diced tomatillos, sprinkle with salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place under the broiler until charred on the top and tender, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a medium casserole or Dutch oven, heat the reminder 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches cook the pork over high heat until browned on two sides, about 2 minutes per side (note: do not over crowd the pan, or you won’t get the brown coat you are looking for). Place the pork aside and reduce the heat to medium high. Add the celery and onion to the hot oil, cook stirring occasionally until soften, about 7 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika and dried oregano stirring frequently until fragrant.
Add the diced carrots and sliced fennel, return the pork to the pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of flour. Place the pan in the oven for 4 minutes, this will form a crusty coat on the pork. Stir well and put back in the oven for another 4 minutes. Bring back to the stove top and reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
Over medium heat, add half a cup of dry white wine, with a wooden spoon stir well to pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, add the roasted tomatillos, canned tomatoes, garlic, diced jalapeño and sliced peppers. Add the chicken broth making sure all the vegetables and pork are covered with liquid. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium high heat, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the 325F oven and cook for 40 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, cover and place back in the oven for another 40 to 45 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice, serve hot with crusty bread. Enjoy!
Cook Notes: You can prepare the stew ahead, it can be refrigerated overnight and reheated gently before serving.