20091013

Spanish Pork Stew - A crock pot recipe perfect for fall

I tried a new crock pot recipe out a few days ago and the smell was teasing my taste buds all day - to a point that I tweeted about it several times (@popartdiva). I had ten people DM me and ask for the recipe so here ya go, my own rendition of Spanish Pork Stew.

I made a few changes to the original recipe - I used canned tomatoes instead of fresh, I added onion, carrots and celery (because I had to replace the stock with plain water) - the mire poire made a nice stock along with the juices from the caramelized meat. I also doubled the amount of bay leaves as mine were small and doubled the garlic because I love garlic. The one other change I made was to use balsamic vinegar in place of plain cider vinegar.

I also added the picante sauce and about a teaspoon of chipotle hot sauce - hey, the recipe said "Spanish" so I figured a little bit of hot wouldn't hurt. (Dear Liz,Brad & Max - thank you for my new addiction to hot sauces!)

Frankly, I'm sure these additions gave the stew much more flavor.

SPANISH PORK STEW WITH POTATOES

5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
1 - 24 Oz. Can Whole Tomatoes
1 cup picante sauce* - optional
1 tsp chipotle hot sauce* - optional
1 Bell pepper, cleaned & cubed into 1/2" pieces
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound Pork shoulder butt, cubed into 1" pieces
6 whole Garlic cloves
1 cup water
1/2 cup baby carrots
1 small red onion, cubed into 3/4" pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped medium
2 Bay leaves
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper

Turn on your crock pot to high.
Brown the pork cubes in a saucepan with a LITTLE BIT of olive oil and the onions, bell peppers and celery, saute until the onions are clear and the meat has a nice caramel crust on it. Pour into the crock pot, add the water, garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar and the can of whole tomatoes - basically toss all the rest in EXCEPT the potatoes!

Let this cook on high for an hour - if you're heading off to work you don't have to do this, it's just one of those little crock pot things I do to get things moving a little quicker, also if you are heading to work and simmering this on low all day be sure to cut all the elements larger - especially the potatoes, leave them whole is best for an all day cook.

After the first hour turn the pot to low and leave it alone for 5 hours, then add the potatoes and simmer on low for another 2 or 3 hours (timing depends on the size of your potatoes.)

After 8 or 9 hours your pork butt should be extremely tender and the stew broth should be brimming with great flavors to dip your bread into. BTW, serve this up with real San Francisco sourdough bread and hunks of real butter. And don't forget the Merlot or a nice Spanish red!

Next time I might make a little sweet and sour cabbage to go with the stew, I think it would add a nice texture and complementary flavor.

Mange!

Tomorrow I'm back to posting Halloween Recipes!

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