What to serve several hungry young men (and women) last Sunday. As we had two days notice, we decided to follow a Mexican theme. Using a slow cooker for the main dish freed up space in the kitchen for the side dishes, so we found this recipe in The Gourmet Slow Cooker, page 28.
One problem we have encountered in the past with slow cooker recipes is the tendency for the fat in the meat to breakdown over time, resulting in a layer of grease at the top of the slow cooker when ready to serve. Of course, the grease can be skimmed off, but we wanted to try this with a leaner meat and avoid the problem. On the recommendation of our butcher, we used boneless pork rib meat. Our son said this was one of the best entrees we have ever served! (We humbly agreed.)
We included two of the side dishes we served with this recipe in the following posts. We also served homemade guacamole with lime-flavored tortilla chips and a rice pilaf. A picture of a full plate from our dinner party is included. If you don’t like much heat with your pork stew, make sure you use only medium- or low-heat sauce and salsa.
By the way, we are considering buying one of the new generation slow cookers. The newer slow cookers allow you to put the ceramic insert directly on the stovetop to saute or braise the meat before starting the slow cooker. The need to “precook” many slow cooker recipes before actually putting the ingredients in the slow cooker has been a pet peeve of ours. Now, we can do most of the preparation in the slow cooker itself!
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs. lean pork stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 (32 oz.) can green chile sauce
1 (16 oz.) jar chunky green chile salsa
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. In batches if nnecessary, add the pork and cook, turning, for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned on all sides. Using tongs, transfer to the slow cooker and add the chile sauce and salsa. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the meat is tender. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.