Latin-Style Pork Stew with many Roots
• 2½ lbs. Latin roots and tubers, including at least two of the following: malanga, yuca, boniato and true yam
• 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1 lb. boneless pork loin or butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into half-inch cubes
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
• 1 Tbsp. paprika
• 1 tsp. minced red or green chili pepper of your choice
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 2 quarts chicken stock
• Juice of 1 lime
• Whole cilantro leaves for garnish (optional).
1. Peel roots and tubers (if using yuca or true yams, be sure to peel off the bitter under layer), dice, and set aside in a large bowl with water to cover.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan until hot but not smoking. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper; add to the pan, and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat out of the pan, add the onion, and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, chilies and cumin, and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute more.
4. Add stock and reserved root vegetables, and just bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until pork is tender and roots are easily pierced with a fork. Stir in the lime juice, sprinkle with cilantro if desired, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings.
It looks complicated but it is worth it! You could even make this into a vegetarian meal and not include the pork, or even substitute pork for chicken. I really like the taste of the yuca and the yams, so I add more of them. I recommend looking up pictures of some of the roots so you know what they look like. I have also added some purple potatoes before (not too many). I always make sure that mine has a good kick to it so depending on the temperature of the jalapenos I may add more.