Monday, December 17, 2012

Ancho Pork Hominy Stew

The holiday whirlwind is upon us and we're expecting a full house this year. Three generations of grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and cousins will descend upon us in less than 48 hours and I cannot wait. As far as I'm concerned it wouldn't be Christmas without a little chaos.

Mufasa must have been extra good this year because he is now the proud owner of a brand spanking new Big Green Egg. So while he's working out plans for several holiday roasts on his new toy, I'm turning my focus to what we're all going to eat in the days leading up to and in between the major celebrations.

Thanks to the chest freezer, I've been squirreling away banana bread, squash muffins, and countless freezer bags of soup for weeks now. Next on the list is one of my personal favorites, this spicy ancho chili spiced pork and hominy stew.
Ancho Pork Hominy Stew
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2009

2 tbsp ancho chile powder
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried oregano
1 & 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin*
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 & 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (about 1/2-ich cubes)
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can hominy, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

For garnish
fresh lime slices
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled

1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Set aside 1 & 1/2 tsp of the spice mixture. Add pork to the remaining spice mixture and toss to coat.
2. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally (the pork does not need to cook through at this point). Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
3. Add the remaining 1 tsp oil to the dutch oven. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Return the pork to the pan. Add the remaining 1 & 1/2 tsp of spice mixture, broth, hominy, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover partially and simmer for about 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh lime slices, cilantro, or queso fresco.

Makes 6 (1 & 1/3 cup) servings

*The original recipe calls for half as much cumin but can one go wrong with pork and a little extra cumin? I think not.
My advice is double the recipe. You'll need a huge pot but the payoff is so worth it. Eat round one for dinner tonight and pack away round 2 for some night in the coming weeks when you've eaten a few too many sugar cookies to turn on the oven. This freezes and reheats beautifully and is such a nice departure in flavor from the typical Christmas roasts and hams we'll be eating next week.

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