February 7, 2011

CAFE PASQUAL'S Green Chile and Pork Stew

It's all a matter of degrees.  Cabin fever that is.  With another seven to twelve inches on the way, we are in for a second round of cabin fever here in Oklahoma City.  But as I was kvetching about this to L'il Sis, a winter hardy Hoosier after all, she had to one-up my cabin fever claustrophobia with her tale of getting stuck in an elevator today for fifteen minutes.  Now THAT, she told me was claustrophobia.

To quell her anxiety and keep herself from panicking, she thought of other things.  Like that hiker in the movie 127 Hours who was tightly wedged in between two slabs of rock and had to cut off his arm to get out.  (ummm, good movie choice to snuff out that panic thing, I'm thinking). Now THAT, she told me is claustrophobia.  And added that I should quit my whining. 

And so, it all becomes a matter of degrees. Being housebound or cutting off my arm.  I guess I'll choose the former and quit whining. 

If you are snowbound and likewise whining, I highly recommend not panicking and making this delicious Green Chile and Pork Stew from the cookbook Cooking with CAFE PASQUAL'S (click here to order) that you may remember from a previous post Join me at Cafe Pasqual's.


1/4 cup olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp. oregano
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 lbs. pork butt
5 quarts chicken stock
1 cup fresh corn kernels
3 lbs. russet potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks, peels on

16 fresh New Mexican or Anaheim chiles, fire-roasted, stemmed, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 squares (2 cups)

3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 corn or whole tortillas, warmed

In a lidded 8-qt. heavy pot over medium heat add the olive oil and let it heat for a moment.  To the pot add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and oregano.  Saute the vegetables, uncovered until the onions are translucent.  Put the cumin into a dry pan over low heat and toast it for one minute, stirring frequently until it is fragrant and then add it to the stew pot.  Cut the pork in half and add it to the pot, followed by three quarts of the stock.  Cover the pot.  Bring to a boil, uncover, skim off any foam, and then turn down the heat to medium-low.  Simmer gently, uncovered over medium-low heat until the meat is tender, about 2-3 hours.  (You may need to add one quart of the remaining stock at this point if too much has evaporated.)

Transfer the pork to a bowl, leaving the stock in the pot.  Skim any oil from the top of the stock and discard.  When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred the meat, then coarsely chop it with a cleaver so the shreds are no more than two inches long.  Return the meat to the pot and add the corn, potatoes, chiles, and the remaining one quart of stock.  Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about thirty minutes.  Add the salt and pepper.  Serve with warm tortillas.

Now, I must tell you, this is absolutely delish, well worth the day-long investment of time.  And the scent of cooking green chiles permeating your kitchen all day long ain't bad either.  A big pot of this doesn't last long at my house, but if your appetites are more modest, it freezes beautifully, and is even better the second day than the first.

I prefer corn tortillas with it, as well as tortilla chips and guacamole.  For other tips, I highly recommend you consult the cookbook.  It is as scrumptious as the stew.

Tomorrow, it's back to the store to replenish my pantry and fridge.  My friend, Spitfire, asks that I pose this question to you, my darling readers, and I'll let you know the results.

What must YOUR well-stocked pantry contain?  Do tell!


  1. I require chicken, stock, veggie and noodles for homemade chicken and noodle soup for a big winder storm...and it also improves with time! And a loaf of french bread, of course! Oh, and a few great bottles of wine! And, by the way, I never told you to stop whining...merely to put things in perspective, Big Sis! So glad you kept your arm!
    Love, me

  2. For a snow day, you have to have a cannister of hot chocolate mix - so that you can add a spoonful to your coffee. We call those " mocha-jokas." Also, you must have some Penzeys Cinnamon so you can add that to your coffee. We call those "cinny-minis." The rest of the pantry would take a full page - we need to devote more than one blog to this.

  3. BTW I found some red and green chili from the Bueno Company in New Mexico in the frozen section at the Buy for Less on NW Expressway/Portland. All it contains are the chilies and water. I think this would be a "pantry/freezer favorite. A woman was buying several and told me she was so excited to find that Buy for Less carried this and it was great! The carton says that all the chilies are NM grown. Just in case you didn't have good chilies of you own or didn't have the enthusiasm to roast your own. Franny

  4. Thanks, Franny! I plan on stocking up big time. What a time saver!

  5. When the TV weather people get frenzied, I get myself to the store quickly. Must haves: several large cans of Red Gold tomatoes (because they are from Indiana), a few cartons of low-sodium chicken stock for delicious tomato soup, a funky-shaped package of Abuelita Mexican Chocolate drink mix--which is confusing because it's actually 6 chunky tablets of chocolate heaven--for hot chocolate, of course. I loved the previous post regarding Penzey's cinnamon--the ONLY place to buy your spices/herbs. They have 5 or 6 different kinds of cinnamon. A can of steel cut oats--which they have at Aldi for $1.89--take that McCanns! Oatmeal for breakfast, tomato soup for lunch & dinner. (I think I'm addicted.) And one more thing: dark chocolate.

  6. Linda -- love and covet your blog. Where do you buy Penzey's cinnamon in OKC? I plan to make pork stew this weekend. Crown Heights fan and friend....

  7. You won't be sorry, Susan! It's delish...your men will love it! I'll post a source for Penzey's in P O T A G E R tomorrow.

  8. Pretty sure I'm making this tonight. Thanks for the recipes. Yum.~~Dee


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