Something to Stew About

Mmmm recipe day.  My excuse to come up with nifty new ways to enjoy my food without derailing my weight loss.  Today it’s Green Chile Stew, which can be made with pretty much any meat but I prefer pork, and since I like the comfort of slow cooking smells in the house, I hunted up this recipe: which gives the guidelines for chicken, beef, or pork.  And it’s a good recipe, especially if you’re stewing for a group.

I wanted something for one person, or for me and my guinea pigs friends who help with taste testing.  Plus I was dealing with buying dilemmas.  Pork roasts are available in LARGE sizes, and no matter how much I enjoy green chile stew I don’t want to be eating the same recipe all winter.  Plus I have issues with the “tender for YOU” pork I find in the grocery stores.  If I wanted to inject my pork with salt and other questionable ingredients, I have the syringe, I can do it myself.  So instead of a pork shoulder roast, huge at a low price, I picked up the thin sliced pork shoulder steaks, slightly higher price but a more reasonable quantity.  MUCH easier to cut up.

To this I added onions, garlic, coriander, chopped frozen green chiles and chicken broth. Simple ingredients; I chose

Bueno Autumn Roast

In the frozen aisle if you’re lucky

fresh coriander over cumin on a whim, and I’m glad I tried it. I make up the broth myself from leftover carcasses, which will make a great future recipe blog.  As for quantities, can I just say “some?”  My goal was more of a soup than a stew, so about two cups of the broth, 2-3 pounds of pork, a largish onion, a couple cloves of garlic, about half a bunch of coriander, and a couple huge spoonfuls of hot Bueno frozen green chiles.  If you’re not as worried as I am about carbs you can add in some chopped potatoes and maybe a can of white beans.

Cut the pork up into bite size pieces.  Brown the pork in your fat of choice (bacon grease will work obviously) set that to one side, cut the onion into wedges,brown it a bit.  Chop the coriander up a bit.  Put everything into a crock pot on high for four hours, or on low for six.  If you want, after your first cooking, you can strain the broth from the solids, chill both of them, and remove the extra fat from the chilled broth.  Then put it back into the crock pot.  This extends the cooking time but makes my house smell really nice.  And it means I can do the first cooking, chill everything, and set it up to eat the next night.  A dollop of sour cream makes it extra yummy.

If you can’t get the frozen green chiles you’ll have to use canned. You might see if your grocery will carry them in mild to hot since there is an increasing demand for them.  Naturally the grocery stores in New Mexico carry frozen and canned chile year round. as well as a bank of various jarred salsas and four rows of mustard. I kid you not, FOUR rows.  In season you can get the fresh green chiles in boxes or bags and have them roasted on site, then take them home to package up for your freezer.  Somehow I missed this year, so I’m stuck with frozen.

Now as far as experimenting. I was discussing this with a friend, who asked why chicken broth.  Ummm.  Hmmm. Good point.  So the next cooking will be with pork country ribs, which come with bones.  So I’ll get some without the tenderizing additives, chop the meat off those bones, brown everything, and toss it into the crock since those bones will give me extra flavor.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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