This 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!