This is one of those dishes where my photographs are not doing it justice. As far as I am concerned, it is restaurant worthy–but between a hungry family and my own lack of imagination, the right set up did not occur to me. Believe me when I say you should make this the next time you are having guests over who like Southwestern food!
Some cookbooks I know I want right away. Some are just great deals. And some worm their way into my subconscious, the desire to own them gradually taking root over time. And example of this latter category is Ruth Reichl’s Gourmet Today. Multiple year end reviews listed it as one of the best books of the year, and then to make things even more tempting, my mother in law bought it and could not stop singing its praises. Well that was it, I had to have it. Of course by then I had passed it up at Costco repeatedly for $20. Ack! I eventually got it for a good deal at The Good Cook (an online book club).
This next recipe is inspired by it. Well I am having one of those inspired by/adapted from dilemmas. Usually the answer is obvious, but I am not so sure with this one. I radically changed this recipe–having said that, it would never have occurred to me to roast a sweet glazed pork tenderloin and serve it over a New Mexican green chili. Completely inspired by? Loosely adapted from? I’m going with inspired, I changed so much, but at any rate it turned out amazing, so thank you Gourmet Today for the recipe!
This recipe is either a 2 day recipe or an all day recipe, whichever works better in your schedule. The more you cook dried beans, and by extension, corn, the less it will seem like complicated work and the more it will just seem like something you need to remember to throw together before you can make the stew. You certainly could use canned beans and hominy, but I am taking my cue from Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo and saying once you have homemade of both you won’t go back.
This is a great meal to make after having bacon for breakfast–just reserve the grease. The original Gourmet recipe called for bacon, but I have taken to saving bacon grease in my freezer, so I just used it in various places.
One last note about this recipe: the stew tastes really amazing after it all comes together in the bowl, making it difficult to cook to taste. If the stew tastes good, but not quite amazing, have faith–it will taste amazing after the pork is added! And it is not nearly as much work as it looks–I have just broken it down for simplicity’s sake.
Soak 1 heaping cup of dried posole overnight (minimum 3 hours). Then dump it with its soaking water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add water to cover by 2 inches as well as half of an onion, chopped up. Simmer for 3 hours or so, covered, until chewy tender. Salt to taste–a large pinch or 2 will probably do–and cook an additional 10 minutes. Drain and reserve for recipe.
The Marrow Beans
Begin soaking 1 cup of dried marrow beans while the hominy is cooking. When the hominy is finished, use the same pot and dump the beans with their soaking water into it. Once again, cover beans by 2 inches. This time add 1 tablespoon bacon grease, half of an onion, chopped, and 3 smashed cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer, covered, until tender, 2-4 hours or so, at which point add salt. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Drain, but reserve the liquid.
1-2 T bacon fat
1 1/2 medium-large red onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping t ground cumin
1 pinch ancho chile powder
1/2 t Mexican oregano
approx. 2 cups cooked posole or hominy (can sub canned if need be, see above)
approx. 2 cups cooked marrow beans (can sub other white beans if need be)
6 large poblano peppers, roasted and seeded (only bother peeling the really charred parts)
1 28 oz can of tomatillos, drained (by all means use fresh if you have them–not to be found here right now)
2 cups chicken stock, homemade preferred
1 T cornstarch dissolve in 1 T cold water
honey, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
extra bean broth for additional liquid if needed
First place the roasted poblanos, tomatillos and chicken stock in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon grease. When it is hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt and fry, stirring, for 7 minutes. Then add the carrots with another pinch of salt and fry, stirring, for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, ancho and oregano, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the pureed poblano-tomatillo liquid, as well as the cooked hominy and beans. Bring to a boil. If using homemade chicken stock without salt, add a hefty pinch of salt here as well.
Add the dissolved cornstarch and bring back to a boil. Add reserved bean broth if needed for more liquid. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Then taste for honey, salt and pepper, keeping in mind that maple syrup will be added later (I used about 1 tablespoon of honey just to smooth the taste out). Return the stew to a simmer, this time covered, and let simmer on the lowest setting until the pork is ready.
The Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins, patted dry and rubbed with some salt and pepper
2 T vegetable oil
2 T minced chipotle peppers (from canned chipotle in adobo)
3 T maple syrup
2 t vegetable oil
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Heat a very large (14″) skillet over medium heat (if you only have a 12″ you may need to sear the pork and then transfer it to a cooktop-safe roasting pan–do not sear in the roasting pan as all the oil will drain to the sides of the pan–this is experience speaking). Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and when the oil is shimmering hot, add the pork tenderloins. Sear on all sides until brown.
Whisk together the maple syrup, chipotle and 2 teaspoons of oil. Add some salt and pepper. Brush this syrup all over the seared pork, turning it to get all sides.
Transfer the pork (either in a new, oiled roasting pan or in the 14″ skillet) to the preheated oven and roast until an internal thermometer registers 145 F, 10-15 minutes. Remove the pork and set aside.
Add 1/3 cup water and any leftover maple glaze to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat on the cooktop, scraping at the bottom of the pan to release flavorful pork bits. Boil for 1-2 minutes, until the glaze reduces. Add a pinch of salt if you think it needs it (give it a taste and prepare to be knocked out by sweet heat).
the pork tenderloin
the gravy from the pork
toasted and salted pumpkin seeds, optional
extra minced chipotle, optional
sour cream, optional
Ladle the green chili into the bowl. Place slices of pork tenderloin on top of the stew, sprinkle the optional chipotle over that. Drizzle some gravy over that and finish with some sprinkled pumpkin seeds. Add a dollop of sour cream if desired.