Spicy Pork and Vegetable Stew

Yield: 4 servings


1 ½ pounds pork shoulder (often called butt), cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons ground masa or AP flour

Salt and ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 medium white onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced

1 poblano pepper, charred, peeled, and diced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon smoked mole paste (I use Seasons of my Heart Chintestle paste)

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

1 cup frozen peas

1 bunch cilantro, minced

Salt and ground pepper to taste


Place pork in a large bowl. Add masa, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, toss the ingredients to coat the pork pieces.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven. Add just enough of the pork to cover the bottom of the pot, but don’t crowd the pieces. Let brown on one side. When they can easily be turned, brown them on the other and remove to a medium bowl. Add more pork and repeat with remaining pork. It may take three times.

Add the remaining oil to the pot, heat, and then add the garlic and onion. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the peppers. Saute another 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, tomato paste, and smoked mole paste. Stir well and bring to boil. Reduced heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 50 minutes.

Add the peas and ¾ of the cilantro. Simmer uncovered until the peas are tender and the stew sauce thickens—about 5 minutes. Remove and toss the bay leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

Serve over grains like brown rice or with warm corn tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.