A Cozy Stew: Spicy, Tequila-Lime Pork Stew, A Spirited South-of-the-Border Meal

Spicy Pork Stew

Sometimes, I really crave a meal that just simply makes me “happy”; you know what I mean? It’s nothing complicated—I just want to have a good time eating it, and feel better for doing so. It’s the type of meal that when I take a nice, big spoonful of it and chew deliberately and thoughtfully, it leaves me feeling more invigorated, warmed and awake than before I took that succulent bite. I love to have my taste buds come alive on my tongue, to have layers of deep flavors dance around in my mouth; to have a pinch of something spicy, a touch of something tangy, the essence of something earthy, all tied together in a hot, soupy, stewy and savory liquid with some tender, slow cooked meat. Mmm…My mouth is watering just thinking about this little idea I have for a one-pot wonder, a spicy, pork stew served over roasted potatoes. And with a few glorious splashes of tequila added into the mix, there’ll be some lifted spirits before long.


Spicy Pork Stew

Frankly, it’s fun cooking with a little alcohol. Pouring a few good “glugs” into a pot or pan after there’s been some serious caramelization that’s taken place, creates a wonderfully steamy sizzle as it pulls up all of those beautiful browned bits from the bottom and swirls them into the aromatic liquid, deepening the flavor of everything in that pot or pan; it sends a sweet vapor into the air that lets you (and everyone else, for that matter) know that there’s some delectable kitchen alchemy taking place, for sure. Stews and braises are the perfect meal picks for the cold months of the year, and their rich, savory flavors can only be intensified with a little addition of liquor or wine. The fire-roasted peppers, onions and tomatoes plus the spices and herbs in this Spicy, Tequila-Lime Pork Stew add a darker, smokier layer; and the slow-cooked, tender meat gives body and comfort, making it a hearty and bold stew. Finishing the whole thing off with a squeeze or two of fresh, tangy lime, you’ll definitely notice a party beginning to take shape—and all taste buds are cordially invited.

Spicy Pork Stew

Spicy Pork Stew

There’s nothing but love in this delectable and fragrant little stew; nothing but gladness to be found in a ladle-full of this genuinely “happy” meal. It may be cold outside—flurries drifting by your windows and a wind-chill that taunts—but cozying up to a bowl of Spicy, Tequila-Lime Pork Stew next to the inviting flames flickering in your fireplace, is a recipe for keeping that cold at bay.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


Spicy Pork Stew

Spicy, Tequila-Lime Pork Stew with Fire-Roasted Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes over Roasted Potatoes
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(Serves about 6)


2 Anaheim peppers
1 red bell pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
1 onion, outer “paper” skin removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 ½ pounds pork stew meat, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup tequila
½ cup chicken stock, hot
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped, divided use
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• Roasted Potatoes (recipe below)


-Fire-roast the peppers, the tomatoes and the onion by either placing them on a grill and grilling them until the skins are completely charred, or do as I did and place them directly onto the burners of your gas stove, and with a medium flame, allow the flames to char the skins, turning the vegetables every few minutes with tongs, for roughly 10-15 minutes; once vegetables are charred, place them into a big bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow them to steam for about 20 minutes; after 20 minutes, pull the skins from all of the vegetables, including the outer, charred layer of the onion, and remove the seeds/membranes and core/stem from peppers, and give everything a rough chop, keeping the peppers and onions separate from the tomatoes; set aside for a moment.

-In a small ramekin, combine the sea salt, cracked black pepper, cumin, smoked paprika and red chili flakes with a fork, and set aside for a moment; this will be your “seasoning mix”.

-Place the pork stew meat chunks into a small bowl, and add about half of the seasoning mix from the ramekin to the pork; add the flour next, and toss all the ingredients well, to coat all the pieces; place a heavy bottom pot (or braising pot) over high heat, and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil; once the oil gets hot, add the pork pieces into the oil, and allow the meat to sear and caramelize until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side; once browned, remove the meat from the pot, and set aside for a moment; next, add a drizzle more olive oil to the pot, and add in the chopped peppers and onions; next, add in the remaining half of the seasoning mix from the ramekin, as well as the garlic, and stir to combine and allow to lightly caramelize for a minute or two; next, deglaze the bottom of the pot by carefully adding in the tequila (keep it away from the flames), and allow it to reduce for about a minute, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot with your spoon; once slightly reduced, add in the chopped fire-roasted tomatoes, as well as the browned pork pieces with their juice, and add in the hot chicken stock and stir to combine; cover and gently simmer the stew for 1 ½ hours, and after that time, remove the cover/lid, and simmer the stew for an additional ½ hour, to slightly reduce and thicken the liquid; turn off heat.

-To finish the stew, add in 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro, the lime zest and lime juice, and stir; serve the stew over the Roasted Potatoes, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining 1 tablespoon of the chopped cilantro.

Roasted Potatoes ingredients:

8 small, red potatoes, quartered (skin on)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
• Pinch smoked paprika


-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper of foil

-Toss the quartered potatoes with the remainder of the ingredients in a large bowl, turn them out onto the baking sheet, and roast for about 40-45 minutes, until golden and tender.

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Velva February 13, 2013, 6:42 pm

    I hope you enjoyed a shot of your tequila with your fabulous pork dish.


    • The Cozy Apron February 13, 2013, 6:54 pm

      Haha! Velva, that’s too funny; but sadly, and in all honesty, I didn’t even think to do that. Geesh.

  • Tasha @ Homemade February 17, 2013, 6:00 pm

    This looks amazing.. I could use a bite right about now. Yum.

  • mjskit April 8, 2013, 6:58 pm

    So where is the salt for the tequila shot you have going there? :) This pork stew looks wonderful and I think I can actually smell it. Love the addition of the roasted potatoes. Great dish!

    • The Cozy Apron April 8, 2013, 10:09 pm

      Hi there! Thank you so much for your comments; and you’re right – where IS the salt?! Haha… 😉

  • Heide M. April 9, 2013, 1:37 pm

    Sounds tasty.

  • Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser May 5, 2013, 7:51 pm

    I love me a good stew! Such a warm and delicious recipe!

  • azbest23 July 28, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Great recipe, thanks!

  • Shawn Lawton September 14, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Just finished making this stew and I just have to say, “Absolutely Fabulous!” The addition of the lime zest/juice at the end along with the smoked peppers, onion and Romas (I grilled mine), the tequila and the mix of spices (I doubled it) created a depth of flavor I haven’t enjoyed for far too long. For me, this was somewhat complicated though…Roasting potatoes in the oven while grilling peppers and later peeling all the skins while searing the meat kept me busy and created a mess of dishes. In the end though, it was really fun to cook and WORTH IT! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • The Cozy Apron September 15, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Hey Shawn! Thanks so much for sharing the experience you had with this recipe; I’m glad that at the end of it all, you enjoyed it and that it was worth it! Home cooking can be such a great experience; it’s just too bad someone else can’t clean up the mess though, right? 😉

  • mayra October 27, 2013, 11:07 am

    Just cooked this for lunch! I didn’t have smoked paprika, so used regular paprika and chipotle instead of chili. This amazing stew, plus the roasted potatoes and a double margarita were perfect for my rainy sunday :) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    • The Cozy Apron October 27, 2013, 6:02 pm

      Hi Mayra, how perfect for a rainy day! (Not to mention the double margarita, right?) :-) Thanks so much for coming back to share your experience with the recipe, and I’m so happy that you enjoyed it!

  • Craig January 26, 2014, 7:13 pm

    I have been dealing with snow storms so finding this recipe made life right again. This recipe was fun to follow and made my house smell amazing. I love a stew and this recipe is at the top of my list. So many flavors coming together to make a great dish! Thank you for this one!!! I can’t wait to make it again.

    • The Cozy Apron January 26, 2014, 9:00 pm

      Craig, I love reading comments like yours. Food really CAN make life “right” again, can’t it? So glad that you found this warm and filling stew to prepare, especially now with this extremely cold weather in most of the country (LA is the opposite now!). Thank you so much for taking the time to share your personal experience with me in regard to this recipe, and it’s “icing on the cake” for me to read that it made the house smell amazing!

  • Karie June 23, 2015, 4:04 pm

    This was AMAZING! I tweaked it as to what I had on hand, and simmered in the slow cooker. So smoky and rich. This was the first time I have fire roasted veggies. I almost skipped that step, (cooking during baby’s nap) and I’m so glad I didn’t. It totally kicked it up to a whole new level.

    • The Cozy Apron June 23, 2015, 5:22 pm

      Hi Karie, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this! And I’m glad that you didn’t regret doing the step where your fire roast the veggies—I know that a baby’s nap time can be short sometimes, so time is precious; but the fact that you had the opportunity to enjoy that deeper flavor is fantastic! Thank you for sharing your experience with me!

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