Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hearty Pork Roast Stew

Apologies for the great post delay. I just started school back up, and having had about a year off, I'm taking it easy getting back into homework mode. I am officially pursuing my major Hospitality and Management with an emphasis in Business. When the title of the major rolled off the tongue of my  counselor, it seemed perfectly fitting. I didn't really know it, but I've been pursuing this type of idea all along. It would be great to own our Brewery and Bakery, or restaurant, with education specifically for it. I also have always loved serving others and trying to be as big as a help as possible, meeting needs that are practical for making someone just feel comfortable. 

In terms of kitchen, I've still been cooking and keeping it thrifty. For a couple weeks I was able to keep it under $30 believe it or not, using methods I've mentioned before. It's been awesome to have that extra money, and to feel accomplished providing six meals for that great price. Sometimes though, because of thriftiness, the meals don't seem so picture perfect or even blog worthy. There have been a couple though that made it out alive with pictures and all, whoo!

For example, they had a great sale on pork roasts at our local grocery store, two in a pack for the price of one. We don't eat pork that often, but once in awhile it's perfectly delicious. For the first meal, I made a Pork Roast Stew, with Mexican spices to heat it up, but keeping it stew with the potatoes and carrots. This was served on a windy, chilly day and it definitely satisfied. This was a two step process, and I'm sure it could be streamlined, but that will be for another day. First you let it become juicy and tender in a crock pot all day long; then when you're ready to eat, transfer it to a dutch oven where the pork really becomes a roast stew with the other ingredients.

Hearty Pork Roast Stew
Serves: 6 Time: 5 hrs+ (inactive/ crock pot) plus 45 min (active/ on stove). Gluten Free

Cheaper option: I've been using a low sodium chicken and vegetable bouillon instead of broth, it helps to save money when I don't have homemade stock on hand.

Crock Pot Ingredients:
1, 3-4 lb pork roast (preferably free-range, humanely-raised)
1 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, with seeds
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp each pepper, salt
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (low sodium brands, or homemade is even better)

Stew Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter
3 medium russet potatoes, washed well, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme, or another herb that smells good to you
4 cups chicken broth, divided
1, 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
cheddar cheese grated, for topping
a few sprigs of cilantro for topping

How To:
Crock Pot & Stove Top Method:
Place pork roast in a crock pot over high heat. Add all other crock pot ingredients over the pork. Cover with lid and cook for 5 hours (or low heat for 7 hours). Shred meat. You can use all of the pork, or remove about 3 cups, and reserve the rest for another use.

When pork is ready, begin stew in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and begin melting. Add diced potatoes, carrots, and thyme. Allow to brown and cook for ten minutes.

Add 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are softened.

Add remainder of chicken broth, tomatoes, and about 3 cups of shredded pork. Smash the tomatoes gently to incorporate into stew. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if needed. Turn off heat, and add cilantro.

All-Crock Pot Method:
Place pork roast in a crock pot over high heat. Add all other crock pot ingredients over the pork. Cover with lid and cook for 5 hours (or low heat for 7 hours).

When pork is beginning to become tender, with about 1 1/2 hours left of cooking, pull the pork apart, or cut it into smaller sections. Add in the stew ingredients minus the butter. Also check the level of liquid in the crock pot before adding the chicken broth, and add to your discretion. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Taste for seasoning.

To Serve: 
Serve each bowl of Hearty Pork Roast Stew with cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

More Meal Planning Inspiration:
In the mood for more Mexican-inspired meals?
Try my Crock Pot Beans and Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas.
Try this delicious and easy Slow-Cooker Guajillo Chile Carnitas Taco recipe.
Popular with my readers, I highly recommend my Crock Pot Carne Asada recipe.
Wanting something a little more gourmet? Try my Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchiladas.
For dessert, try my Mexican Chili Cupcakes.

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