The loin, a relatively lean cut of pork, works beautifully in this clean-tasting stew that is chunky and hearty enough to satisfy die-hard chili fans. The ingredients are cut into bite-size pieces so that the
distinctive flavors of the vegetables—tomatillos, tomatoes and carrots—shine through. When serving cheese aficionados, sprinkle each bowl with shredded pepper jack.
Pork and Tomatillo Stew
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 boneless pork loin, about 1 1/2 lb (750 g), cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. mild chili powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
Pinch of dried oregano
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
3/4 lb. (375 g) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) dice
1 can (28 oz./875 g) diced tomatoes, thoroughly drained
1 lb. (500 g) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) dice
Hot-pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Corn tortilla chips for serving
Place a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over high heat and add the oil. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and sear on all sides until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes.
Add the jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and the 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently,
until the mixture is aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, stir to make a paste and cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the carrot, potatoes, tomatoes and tomatillos. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the pork is very tender, about 45 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to
simmer the stew until thickened, about 10 minutes. Shred the pork with 2 forks. Return the pork to the stew and season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with tortilla chips. Serves 4.
Recipe adapted from The Cook & the Butcher, by Brigit Binns.