Friday, January 8, 2010

One Pot Wonder

On our meal schedule tonight (or rather, last night, but we swapped) was the plan to use some or all of the leftover pork shoulder we cooked for our Cuban Sandwiches last weekend... and to use some of the veggies we bought this week.

I wasn't sure what to do with the pork, but decided the easiest thing to do would be to make a stew of some sort in our big red pot. I wasn't totally confident in what I was doing, but hoped it would work out okay. I served it to Dan with some leftover French bread slices, and ran back to the kitchen to grab salt & pepper & Sriracha - not sure if the seasoning was off or not. When I returned and started to apologize and offer salt - Dan interrupted to say how good it was. I took a bite and had to concur. It was a little salty, actually, but really flavorful. Here's what I did (as best I can remember):

Put our enameled cast iron pot on the stove over medium-high heat, with a little olive oil and a little vegetable oil - maybe a tablespoon each. I fried up some minced garlic, some small pieces of bacon (about half a strip worth), and a tablespoon or two of pork fat. Then I added a couple tablespoons of canned black beans, and stirred vigorously. In went 1/2 a minced shallot, then the pork (about a pound of it, cut into 1/2 inch cubes). Then the rest of the can of black beans went in, followed by a half a bottle of beer and 3/4 of a can of V8 juice. I tossed in some cinnamon, dark cocoa powder, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, red chili flakes, and dried basil. Then I chopped up some cauliflower, broccoli, a few red potatoes, and a tomato and threw all that in, too, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar, a handful of peanuts, 6 or 7 dried chili peppers, and some of my Mom's pico de gallo. (At this point I would've thrown in anything that wasn't nailed down or slated for another meal.) I lowered the heat, put on the lid, and let it all stew for about 45 minutes. Then I tossed in some more broccoli, asparagus, and some black lava salt (which is when I over-salted the dish, I think), put the lid back on, and left it another 15-20 minutes.

It all worked out so well, I'm sure I'll do it again in the future - particularly if we end up with leftover meat, veggies, and potatoes around.

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