When I first made this stew back in January, Rich thought I should make it for that next month’s chili cookoff – it is more of a stew than a traditional chili – as our friend Joce noted – but the flavor profile matches and I figured I could play fast and loose a bit and make another batch.
Then, late winter/early spring happened and I got sick, Rich got sick, some of the kids got sick… you know the drill, so the chili cookoff was rescheduled to last weekend, and I set about reworking an already good recipe…
The first thing I did, because I could, was to replace the beef stock I’d used in January with some of this very fine duck stock, made from the remainders of our pan fried duck dinner. I will admit that, at close to $30 (at Whole Foods), a fresh duck is not really a bargain purchase, but when you factor in the duck fat and the stock you can make later, I feel it’s a pretty decent deal.
Note: I am a big believer in making a dish like this at least a day ahead and allowing it to rest in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop. I was really good right away, but so much more better after that rest.
•2 tbsp oil
•3 lb pork stew meat
•12 oz bacon
•1 tsp salt
•1 sweet onion, diced
•2 shallots, diced
•2 red peppers, diced
•2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
•6 cloves garlic, minced
•1 bunch of scallions, sliced*
•12 oz green chile salsa
•2 cups stock (duck is lovely)
•1 bay leaf
•1/2 tsp dried rosemary
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
•1 (15 oz) can hominy, drained and rinsed
•1/2 tsp celery salt
•1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp chili powder (I used Cajun Seasoning)
•1/2 cup apple cider
•1/2 cup sherry
•1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
•2 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•2 tbsp ketchup (I used my own spicy ‘sup!)
Chop the bacon and cook in a large skillet over medium high heat until crisp, then remove and drain on paper towels. I also added a bit of my favorite Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning to my apple wood smoked, uncured bacon as it was cooking, you could add your own preferred seasonings or leave it plain.
Add the pork stew meat and the salt to the bacon fat and cook, stirring and turning, until the pork is no longer pink.
Drain the veggies well, then add to a stock pot along with the bacon and the pork.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the pork is nicely cooked through and very tender.
Increase the heat to medium high and bring the stew to a low boil. Add the black and Aleppo pepper, chili powder or Cajun seasoning, potato, hominy, apple cider, and enough water to cover the pork and potatoes.
Stir in the parsley, then cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the stew is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Give it a taste. Good! But tomorrow it’ll be better, and we’ll add a few more things to help. Remove from heat, allow to cool, then stash in the fridge overnight.
The next day, reheat – I used my slow cooker – then taste and add 1/2 cup sherry and 2 tbsp sherry peppers sauce (or hot sauce, to taste) and 1 tsp each dried oregano, parsley, chives, 1 tbsp Aleppo pepper, plus 1/2 tsp salt. Much more better!
Cook on low for an hour or so, then serve with those dark green scallion bits, corn chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream, if you like.