Crockpot Mexican Style Pork Stew
Ready for some crockpot stew? Well, bust out those crockpots, because today’s post is going to knock your socks off!! This amazing, flavorful, Mexican style Pork stew is up to bat…and yes, it is GOOOOOOOOOOOD!
I use my crockpot a bunch, because (1) their super easy to use (2) require very minimal hands on time, and (3) they insure a great meal at the end of a busy day!! Help at the end of the day is a plus….because (1) I usually look like an extra on the set of Walking Dead by then, (2) Am totally ready to throw in the towel and quit towards 3pm, and (3) because I’m NOT into those pesky late afternoon hours. Total bore-fest!
I am a TOTAL morning person! By 6 am I’ve usually fed the baby, made the bed, planned dinner, taken a walk, brushed my teeth (thank GOD), and watched 2 or 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix (I am currently addicted!!!)
By the time 4 or 5 pm rolls around, I am POOPED with a capital P! So….having dinner pretty much done and ready to go is an A+++++ in my crammed book.
My husband is the complete opposite..total night owl…whereas I’m layin in my cozy bed with my cozy pj’s by about 7 most nights. I know I’m super exciting…don’t be jealous! There’s just something about the morning that makes me feel so alive. For one thing, the birds are out in full force at this time…and most people aren’t. And since I hate most people…hahah, I love walking around outside in the wee hours. It’s so peaceful and quiet. The world just seems different to me.
It helps too that my son is a morning person. Around 4am I will hear him in his crib, moving around, trying to wake up. My favorite is when he says…Mommy, Mommy…like he’s so confused and is looking for me in there. No better sound..even at 4am…haha. I know most people would read this and say, hell no. But, it works for me and I love it.
Enough about me and my annoying “morning person” talk. Let’s talk stew…pork stew…Mexican style pork stew. I hunted down this recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook because I was looking for recipes that use hominy. I’ve never cooked with hominy before and wanted to give it a whirl after my sister raved about it. What is hominy you ask? Well, hominy is a type of coarsely ground corn, used to make grits. It’s most common use is in posole, another type of Mexican stew. Hominy is used to make tortillas also, but can also be eaten whole..simply mixed with some butter, salt, and pepper.
In this recipe, we eat it whole. Since this recipe calls for canned hominy, the cook time is not super long. I’d have to say the texture of hominy is chewy…and kind of puffy (sorry I couldn’t come up with a better description). It looks like a big corn kernel. Here’s a cool link if you want to educate yourself…next time someone says…oh this is a stew with hominy…or I’m using hominy too…you’ll be like…oh yeah, me and hominy go way back. 🙂
One quick tip I will give you to enhance and deepen the flavors of your crockpot recipes is this…browning food in the skillet first, before adding it to the crockpot makes a WORLD of difference. In this case, the pork ribs are browned on all sides and then dumped in the crockpot. After the ribs brown, we dump in a boatload of chopped onions, and lots of yummy Mexican spices. They get all toasty and make the house smell oh so Heavenly.
I tried to capture a photo of the browning process, and scraped some of the onions to the side so you could have an up close look at the bottom of my skillet. See all that brown crud on the bottom. That is actually called fond. It is the sticky bits of meat and onions and spices that adhere to the bottom and develop a whole new layer of flavor. After we finish browning our foods, we add some liquid to the pan…in this case a can of diced tomatoes. Once the liquid hits the hot pan, it sizzles and allows those flavorful bits to be scraped up with a wooden spoon or spatula.
This extra step will deeply flavor the finished stew, creating layers of rich flavor. That fond is like a goldmine for your food. I highly encourage you to do this!!
Let’s get to it. I’ve got a date with my husband today. We are going to see that new scary movie by M. Night Shyamalan called Split. There is some real excitement in my tummy…nervous excitement. Is this going to be a Shyamalan hit or miss?? Hopefully it’s not a total bummer, but I’m going in with hopes high. When I was a teenager I would see anything and everything scary…now I’m a big weenie and get totally freaked out. I am better known to wake up at 2am and lay awake hearing strange bumps…or whispers.. haha. So sad. I got old and lost all my teenage courage. Poo. I’ll have a little update on the movie for you in my next post. Hopefully I will still be able to sleep and function after seeing it.
What’s nice about this stew is that it makes one heck of a lot!! If you’re like me and only feeding about 2-4 people most nights, you’re going to have a ton of leftovers. What??? You don’t do leftovers??? You need too. Check out this burger we made with some of the leftovers. All I did was drain the stew liquid and mix up a bunch of the meat and veg with some garlic shiracha BBQ sauce, a couple slices of sharp chipotle cheddar, and BAM!! 5 minute dinner…:) Heck to the yeah!!! Tell me that doesn’t look YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!
Hope you give this one a shot. This crockpot stew is really, really yum! Happy crockpotting 🙂
- 5 pounds boneless,country-style pork ribs, trimmed
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped medium
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 (14.5 oz) cans white or yellow hominy, rinsed
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Dry the pork with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the pork, about 10 minutes, then add to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and repeat with 2 more teaspoons of the oil and the remaining pork.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the empty skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, chili powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until the onions and softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, then pour into the slow cooker.
- Add the broth, hominy, and oregano to the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on either low or high, until the meat is tender, 7-8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.
- Transfer the meat to a large bowl and let cool. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then use a wide spoon to skim the fat off the surface. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it using your fingers, discarding any gristle, and add it back to the slow cooker. Before serving, stir in the cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.