Puerto Rican Pork and Potato Stew

Puerto Rican Pork and Potato StewThis stew is delicious. I’m serious. Salty, briny, meaty, filling…everything you want on a cold, winter night. I say that, but I think it would be delicious on a hot summer day too. Once you get the meat browned, the rest comes together quickly and then it just simmers on the stove making you hungry. My husband loved it to and my son ate the pork like crazy and left the rest. He doesn’t like olives, though, so I guess we’ll let that be his excuse.

I’m not Puerto Rican but this dish brings together many typical ingredients in Puerto Rican cuisine, like olives, capers, and oregano. I used pork here because I had some stew meat all cut up and ready to go, but it would also be great with chicken if that’s what you have on hand. The white sweet potato worked perfectly – not too sweet but just providing a soft, starchy contrast and something to absorb the saltiness of the olives and capers. Either way, it’s a wonderful dish that keeps well and makes you really look forward to leftovers.

Puerto Rican Pork and Potato Stew

2 lbs. pork stew meat, 1 1/2 – 2 in. cubes

1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 Tbsp. + 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or F.O.C.)

1/2 large onion, chopped about 1 c.

1 bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 jalapenos, sliced, seeds removed

1/2 c. green olives with pimentos, rinsed and sliced

1/4 c. capers, rinsed and roughly chopped

14 oz. can diced tomatoes

4 c. broth

1/2 lb. white sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1 in. cubes

1 c. water

1/2 c. cilantro, chopped about 1/4 c.



1) Massage pork with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. oregano and set aside for about 30 minutes. Melt 1 Tbsp. coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large (preferably cast iron) pot and brown 1/2 the pork until well caramelized. Remove to a plate to catch any juices, add 1 Tbsp. coconut oil to the pot, brown the rest of the meat, and set aside.

2) Reduce heat to medium and add 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil.  Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt, plus a few grinds from a pepper mill, and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

3) Add tomatoes and stir up any browned bits from the bottom. Return meat to the pot, add broth, capers, olives, and 1/2 tsp. oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 2 hours until the meat is tender and the stew is reduced by about half.

4) Peel and chop the sweet potato. Add it to the stew with the water and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

5) When the potato is soft, add the cilantro and serve in big bowls with a green salad on the side. Enjoy!


15 thoughts on “Puerto Rican Pork and Potato Stew

  1. I’m Puerto Rican and we usually use beef instead of pork. We also add carrots and coriander, although cilantro is also good. When we do it with chicken we call it “pollo guisado” (chicken stew).

    • Thank you, Carolin! I love the idea of both chicken and beef. With fall here now, I think I’ll give them a try!

      Quick question – when you say coriander, do you mean using ground coriander? Or do you mean the green herb, which we call cilantro but is called coriander in many other parts of the world?

      • Carolin didn’t respond…so I’m stepping in here…lol! The Puerto Rican community extensively uses a herb called “culantro.” It’s…loosely….in the same family as cilantro, but the taste (and smell) are totally different. We find it in mainly Hispanic communities in NYC; I lived in western NC and couldn’t find it there, so I doubt it can easily be found in Colorado. However, if you’re lucky enough to find it…use it the next time you prepare this dish…amazing taste…muy sabroso! Salud!!

    • Yes – Paleo! Sweet potatoes, which I used in this stew (they were the yellow/white variety of sweet potato) are definitely Paleo. There has been some controversy over regular white potatoes, but they are now Whole30 approved and while some people have some difficulty digesting the skins of white potatoes, they are a whole food with some excellent nutrients. As long as they don’t come in the form of fast food French fries, I enjoy them!

  2. I wanted to try this, but only had beef. So that’s what I used. I halved the recipe, because beef is so expensive (in case I didn’t like it), but I really should not have because it’s SO TASTY!!

    I just realized I forgot to use the cilantro!!! AAAAH! I obviously need to make this again next time I go shopping.

  3. My girl is puerto rican and we make pernil like once a month and on holidays alot so i save the bone and some meat on it, and make this recipe its great with the leftover cooked meat stews down and becomes very tender,making this again today,love it so much flavor…

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