Currently cooking out of Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen
‘Tis maybe the season for good cheer, but it’s also the season for stews, braises and the slow cooker! Since there are probably a hundred recipes in this book that I haven’t tried yet, expect to see more dishes from it in the coming months.
Conversely, these days I am having a hard time talking myself into making ice cream, even though there are still a few recipes in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home that I still want to make.
An ice cream-making slave for Christmas? Yes, please.
After the overeating fest that is Thanksgiving time, I haven’t been baking/cooking much. This is about the most complicated thing that has come out of my kitchen for a couple of weeks. Even my sourdough starters are feeling neglected.
This stew starts out by pureeing a can of hominy and chicken broth until smooth. That goes in the slow cooker, along with a bunch of onions that have been softened in the microwave, tomato paste, chili powder, garlic, oregano, diced tomatoes, more hominy, soy sauce and cubes of boneless pork butt. Then, you take carrots, slice them up and wrap them in foil and put the foil packet on top of the stew (this keeps them from getting mushy). The whole thing cooks on high for 5 to 7 hours, or low for 9 to 11 hours. When the pork is tender, you add the carrots and any juices into the stew and stir in lime juice and fresh cilantro.
I skipped that last step, but I wouldn’t recommend it. While the stew is good, very thick and hearty, it needs that little bit of freshness that lime juice and cilantro would give it. I love the flavor of the hominy with the pork, and because you puree part of the hominy, every bite is full of corny flavor. And the carrots give the dish just enough sweetness to offset the heat of the chili powder. Like most stews, the flavor is improving with age. This is a nice alternative to beef stew or chili.