With the temperature dropping and the heat questionable in my little New York tenement apartment, it’s definitely time for warm, hand knitted socks and thick, hearty soups and stews. Now maybe it’s my years as a vegetarian, or maybe the bleak, bland days of living in London eating on the uber-cheap, and packing on the pounds thanks to a Guiness and potato diet, but either way, I tried to keep this recipe (a variation of a recipe found in Food & Wine magazine) lighter, and not so starchy. In addition, across the Yucatan, cauliflower and pork are often paired together, so it seemed more fitting than potato.
Ingredients: Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 3-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small red onion, chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 head (about 3 cups loosely packed) of white cauliflower, chopped
14 large tomatillos—husked, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
In large heavy pot, heat oil. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 2 minutes each side. I did this in 2 batches, to make it easier to turn the chunks.
Add the flour and stir to incorporate it into the oil. This makes a simple roux that will thicken the stew later on. Potato can be used to replace the cauliflower, in which case the flower can be omitted. I prefer the cauliflower as it is much healthier and has a nicer texture when cooked.
Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, cumin and oregano and cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 10 minutes to soften onion and bring out the flavors of the spices.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add cauliflower, tomatillos, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer over low heat until the pork is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Remove pork, and continue to simmer the stew over medium heat another 10 minutes to thicken
While the stew is simmering, shred the pork using 2 forks.
Return the shredded pork to the stew, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with chopped cilantro.