Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

May 8th, 2011

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

One of the best stews I’ve ever made, and quite possibly my new favorite dish. The flavor of fresh peppers permeates the pork and makes your kitchen smell so good. Use a mild assortment of peppers or include some good hot ones to give it a boost. For a stew loaded with peppers, this is a surprisingly soothing and calming meal. Maybe it’s the endorphin rush from the chilies, but all I know is this: eating this makes me happy and I think it will make you happy, too.

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

Use a good variety of peppers. This time, I seem to have chosen all green varieties for some reason.

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

You’ll have to cut away that nice, thick piece of skin from the shoulder.  Take the meat off the bone, too.

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

Everything is browned and softened up, ready to pop into the oven for a few good hours.

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

This mixture of sour cream, fresh lemon zest and parsley makes for the ultimate topping for serving. Goes so well with the pepper-infused stew. I’m getting hungry again just writing this!

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home, with some tweaks

Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 lbs pork shoulder off the bone, in one piece, skin off, fat left on
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 fresh hot chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 generously heaped tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
  • a small bunch of fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 5 peppers of your choice (use a mixture of colors, if you can)
  • 1 jar of grilled peppers, drained, peeled and chopped (or grill some fresh bell pepper slices until very soft and charred)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and squashed (or 1 can of whole plum tomatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 340°F. Get a ovenproof pot with a lid that will fit your meat and other ingredients in snugly, heat it on the stove top. Score the fat on the pork in a criss-cross pattern all the way through to the meat, then season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour a few spoonfuls of olive oil into the hot pot and then add the pork, fat side down. Cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat, to render out the fat, then remove the pork from the pot and put it to one side.
  3. Add the onions, chilli, paprika, cumin, marjoram or oregano and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onions for 10 minutes, then add the sliced peppers, the grilled peppers and the tomatoes. Put the pork back into the pot, give everything a little shake, then pour in enough water to almost cover the meat. Add the vinegar – this will give it a nice little twang. Bring everything to a boil, put the lid on top, then place in the preheated oven for about 3 hours.
  4. You’ll know when the meat is cooked as it will be very tender, and it will break up easily when pulled apart. If it’s not quite there yet, put the pot back into the oven and wait it out.
  5. Stir the sour cream, lemon zest and most of the parsley together in a little bowl. When the meat is done, take the pot out of the oven and taste the stew. You’ll taste a balance of sweetness and spiciness. Tear or break the meat up and serve the stew in a big dish, with a bowl of steaming rice and your flavored sour cream on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley.

 

 

Pork Shoulder and Chili Pepper Stew
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“Worries go down better with soup.”
~ Jewish Proverb



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