This was sooo good, I couldn’t wait for it to be lunchtime today so that I could eat the leftovers! I started with a recipe for Spicy Pork Chili with Cumin Polenta from the cookbook I've chosen to feature this month, Sunday Soup by Betty Rosbottom. I am not planning to review the recipe or the cookbook since I am seemingly incapable of following a recipe as written! That said, I love the basic concept of this recipe. To me, it s much more of a stew than a chili. And it begged me to serve it over grits rather than polenta, so my version is Spicy Pork Stew with Cumin Grits.
Spicy Pork Stew with Cumin Grits
For the Spicy Pork Stew:
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 2 tablespoons minced Serrano pepper
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
For the Cumin Grits:
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 2 cups stone-ground grits
- 1 teaspoon toasted cumin
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot. Sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the Serrano pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Spoon the vegetable mixture into a bowl.
- Combine the flour, salt and pepper. Put the pork in a large zip lock, add the flour mixture, seal the bag and shake well to combine.
- Heat another 2-3 tablespoons oil in the Dutch oven. When the oil is hot, add a single layer of pork cubes. Brown the pork, turning it every 1-2 minutes so that all sides are browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove pork to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining pork, adding oil as needed.
- Return all the browned pork back to the pot and add the garlic, sautéing for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up the dark bits.
- Return the sautéed vegetables to the pan. Stir in the tomatoes (with juice), lime juice and remaining chicken broth.
- Bring to a simmer , reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until pork is very tender, about 50-60 minutes.
- Bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
- Add the grits and the cumin. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring frequently, about 30-40 minutes until the desired consistency.
- Taste the stew and grits and season each to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladel the stew into a shallow bowl and put a large dollop of grits in the middle. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
I love grits, and have become somewhat of a connoisseur over the last couple of years. In addition to the Quaker Quick (not Instant!) grits that I grew up with, I have at least three other kinds of grits on hand. The grits I used last night are Charleston Stone Ground Grits which I bought in Charleston. I discovered last week Earth Fare is now carrying them (yeah!). If you can’t get stone ground grits, use the same ratio of grits to liquid, but reduce the cooking time.
Everyone in the family loved, loved, loved this dish Creamy grits, succulent pork and a spicy sauce combined to make the kind of slightly sophisticated comfort food that I would happily serve to guests . It reminded DH and I of grillades and grits, but lighter and with a little bit of flair.
The only thing I will do differently next time is to make it on a day when I can get started before 5:00. We ate by 8:00, and since everything was closed down today because of the snow, that was fine. It is really not at Tuesday night dinner though, unless you put the stew together the night before.