Tuesday, February 9, 2010

RealTime Lunch: Mexican Pork Tenderloin Stew

In Mexican Everyday, Rick introduces this recipe (he calls it Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana) with the advice, "Make it a staple in your kitchen." Not to be one to disregard a trusted authority, I immediately procured a pork tenderloin and a couple of poblano peppers and made my new favorite stew. Trouble is, we didn't love it so much when we had it the other night.

Soups and stewy things always tend to be better the next day when flavors have had more time, and a second round of cooking, to emerge. I'm enjoying my leftovers immensely. And so it comes to be that, today, on a gorgeous and snowy Chicago winter day, Mexican Pork Stew is being offered on Pinch.

It's hearty and lean and not unlike a fancy chili. The cooking time really is short. I'm reluctant to provide timing on recipes because people work at different comfort/skill levels and with a variety of distractions. But it took me less than 30 minutes, for sure. Next time I'll start making it at around 3 and let it sit for a few hours, then reheat at dinnertime. That would probably deliver the dish to its more flavorful 'leftover' state. Oh, and it wasn't spicy. Not even a teeny bit.

Mexican Pork Stew

Print recipe only here

Serves 4

2 poblano peppers
1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork loin or tenderloin, trimmed of all fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 T canola oil
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
one 15-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
3/4 cup beef broth (or 2/3 cup water plus 2 T Worcestershire sauce)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Roast or broil the poblanos, turning until blackened all over (allow 5 minutes over an open flame, or 10 minutes in the broiler). When done, transfer to a bowl, cover with a plate or towel, and allow to cool.

Trim and cube the pork and dry with paper towels. Don't skip this! Sprinkle with kosher salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet and, working in batches if necessary, add the pork and brown all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and reserve.

Using the same skillet, add the sliced onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, rub the blackened skins off the chilis and pull off the stems and seed pods. Rinse and cut into strips. Add the peppers and pressed garlic to the skillet with the onions and cook for another few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, broth or water/Worcestershire to a pot (I used a 3-quart Dutch oven) and bring to a boil. Add the peppers and onions, lower the heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Add the pork and chopped cilantro to the pot and cook for about five minutes. Season to taste and serve, or cover and let rest. Reheat for 3-5 minutes before serving.

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