Potatoes and their Herbal Partners: Pork Stew with Potatoes and Cilantro

Pork Stew with Potatoes and Cilantro
Serves 8

This is my version of a traditional dish that shows the influence of Spanish and Mexican cuisines. Stews like this are called “tablecloth stainers” because they’re served informally and any sauce sloshed on the tablecloth is likely to leave its mark.

  • 3 pounds boneless lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 twenty-eight-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 seven-ounce can diced green chiles, mild or hot
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the pork cubes in 1/4 cup oil for about 5 minutes. Remove the pork to a plate and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat in the same pan, add 11/2 teaspoons oil, the bell pepper, and the garlic, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, potatoes, chiles, 1/3 cup cilantro, sugar, cumin, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the pork with its juices. Cover the pan and simmer for 11/2 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and simmer for 30 minutes longer.
  3. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro, and serve.

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