Mildly spicy, my pork stew is slow-simmered with fire-roasted peppers, onions and tomatoes, plus an abundance of flavorful spices until the meat is tender and the sauce deliciously rich. Perfect served over roasted potatoes, this pork stew recipe is sure to turn up your inner thermostat and warm you from within!
Pork Stew With the Perfect Amount of “Kick”
I don't know about you, but there are times when I crave a recipe with a good bit of spice to it and a nice little kick.
When I crave spicy food, it's as if my body has an inner hunger for my senses to awaken, and to feel that “rush” that's associated with eating something dusted with peppers or other spices that so wonderfully cranks up my “inner thermostat”.
And with some fiery flair to it, this pork stew is just the ticket. It's probably one of my favorite home-cooked meals to prepare when I'm looking to put a little pep in my step.
Prepared with chunks of pork, Anaheim peppers, Roma tomatoes and lots of onions, garlic and spices (even a little kick of tequila and lime!), this pork stew recipe fills our home with the rich, fragrant scent of something spectacularly delicious simmering away on the stove, hot and ready to be spooned up as the best comfort food—with some kick, of course! 😉
How to Make Pork Stew That's Extra Zesty
Since my pork stew recipe definitely goes in the direction of south-of-the-border flavor, I love to incorporate lots of aromatics into the mix here, and even give some of the ingredients a fire-roasted quality.
For the meat, I use pork shoulder cut into chunks, as this is great for longer cooking, and will remain tender and flavorful.
I opt for slightly spicy Anaheim peppers (although sometimes, these can be quite spicy), a red bell pepper, a few Roma tomatoes, and some onion and garlic.
What I like to do is to actually fire-roast my peppers, tomatoes and onion over a flame on my gas burner, for a few minutes, to impart some smokiness to the pork stew. The fire-roasting is optional, but it really creates a lot of depth and extra earthy flavor, perfect for a slightly spicy recipe like this!
Here's a peek at my pork stew recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- I place my peppers, my tomatoes and my onion (all whole) onto a couple of my gas burners, and allow their skins to char, flipping them over a few times, a total of about 10-15 minutes. (You can also do this with an outdoor grill or a grill pan.)
- Once charred, I place the veggies into a bowl and cover them with plastic, allowing them to steam so that I can easily remove the skins.
- After the skins have been cleaned off and the seeds removed from the vegetables, I roughly chop them and set aside.
- Next, I season the pork, brown it off, then remove from the pan; I add in the chopped peppers and onion to the same pan, and sauté with a touch more seasoning and some garlic, then deglaze with a splash of tequila (this can be omitted, if desired).
- After sautéing the veggies for a bit, I add in the chopped, fire-roasted tomatoes, along with browned pork and some chicken stock or broth, and allow the stew to simmer for about 2 to 2 ½ hours , until the meat is tender and easily shredded with a fork.
- The pork stew is finished with a little fresh cilantro and lime juice, and I serve over top of roasted potatoes, or even rice.
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 672 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
- 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 shoulder (or pork butt), cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Olive oil, plus a drizzle
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup tequila (optional)
- ½ cup chicken stock, warm
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped, divided use
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- To fire-roast the peppers, the tomatoes and the onion, place them directly onto the burners of your gas stove (no oil), 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 (you can also use a grill or grill pan and grilling them until the skins are completely charred).
- 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 shoulder 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 about 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, along with 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.
- Then, if using the tequila, 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 2 – 2 ½ hours hours, or until the meat is fork tender; use a fork the shred/break the meat up into the sauce a little bit, leaving some bigger chunks for texture.
- 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 or rice, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining 1 tablespoon of the chopped cilantro.
Tips & Tidbits for my Pork Stew:
- Opt for pork shoulder for longer cooking times: Because this stew essentially cooks for an extended period of time, the way that a braise would, choose pork shoulder (otherwise known as “pork butt” or “Boston butt”), as it can handle longer cooking/stewing times and not become dry. Packages labeled “pork stew meat” can be used in a pinch, but the meat will typically be a little on the drier side because the cuts that are used are less fatty and less collagen-rich.
- Anaheim peppers for kick, or choose something less spicy: If you're a fan of some spice, then the Anaheim peppers will work great for you—they often have a good amount of kick. However, if you'd prefer to go less spicy, opt for green bell peppers, or banana peppers.
- Skip the fire-roasting: If you prefer not to fire-roast the peppers, tomatoes and onions, you can skip this step and simply dice the veggies and proceed. If you'd like to fire-roast but don't have gas burners, then you can use a grill (outdoor or indoor grill pan), and char that way. You can also roast the veggies at 400° for about 40 minutes.
- Sides to serve with: These roasted potatoes are terrific to spoon the pork stew over top of, or you can simply serve white rice, or cilantro-lime rice as well!
Hungry for more cozy stews? Check out this Beef Goulash, this Chili Cheesesteak Stew, or this Chicken Cacciatore!
I hope you enjoyed a shot of your tequila with your fabulous pork dish.
The Cozy Apron
Haha! Velva, that's too funny; but sadly, and in all honesty, I didn't even think to do that. Geesh.
Tasha @ Homemade
This looks amazing.. I could use a bite right about now. Yum.
The Cozy Apron
Hi there! Thank you so much for your comments; and you're right - where IS the salt?! Haha... 😉
Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser
I love me a good stew! Such a warm and delicious recipe!
Great recipe, thanks!
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
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? 😉
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
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!
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
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!
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
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!
Do we have to use tequila? if not will it not taste as good?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Veronica, you certainly don't! The tequila does give it a bit of unique flavor, but you can definitely omit it and replace it with the same amount of chicken stock (1/2 cup), instead. Hope you give this a try!
k thank you i am making this today will post after how it went!!!
This is indeed delicious. Just made it. Very labor intensive but I was in the mood to cook so I went for it! Such an explosion of flavors! I cut up a pork shoulder and that was a perfect cut of meat for this. The ingredients call for chili powder but I did not see in the instructions where to add this. I went ahead and added it to the spice mixture. Yes, the lime and cilantro are a must! I will definitely make this again when I have some free time again. I may add some raw sliced radishes and avocado to this. Thanks for the recipe!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Wynne, so glad you felt the end results were worth the effort; true, it takes a little extra time, but the flavors are so very tasty. (And thanks for letting me know about the chili powder omission —you added it in the right place .) Happy cooking!
Holy smoke. This was AWESOME! As mentioned, a little complicated in preparation, but the hubby and I teamed up and split the duties. We also laid out the vegies on a sheet pan and popped them under the broiler, rather than stove top. Also, we were in the mood for mashed potatoes instead of the roasted potatoes, but we promise to roast them next time. After first bite, hubby said KEEPER! WE are planning a dinner party with friends around this dish. Thanks so much for this.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Alan, wow! I'm so, so excited you both enjoyed the recipe!
I love that you and your hubby tag-teamed the duties...cooking can be a lot more meaningful when you've got a partner and the two of you are having fun working together, creating a really wonderful, shared experience.
I can totally see serving this with the mashed potatoes—I'm sure it's super comforting. And the fact that you two plan on preparing/serving this for a gathering with friends truly, truly touches me.
Thanks for taking some time to let me know how things turned out, and for making my day a little brighter! 🙂