Tj’s Southwestern Style Pork Stew
- Start by seasoning pork steaks with salt and pepper. If you like you can also use a steak seasoning to add a tad more flavor. Heat a skillet on the stove with olive oil. It is import to heat until the olive oil starts to smoke. As soon as the olive oil starts to smoke add yellow onions and place pork steaks on top (be careful for oil spatter). Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until each side is nice and caramelized and the onions stick to it. IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO FIDDLE WITH THEM WHILE THEY COOK. Let each steak cook the full 3-4 minutes and lightly lift the corner of a steak to check if it is properly caramelized.
- After cooking the pork steaks let them cool. Also, keep the onions from the pan to add to your stock. Once they are cool enough to touch trim off all fat and set aside. If you have bone-in steaks keep the bones as well. Cube pork steaks into small, bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Boil 3quarts of water (this is a guess; I’ve never actually measured the water. Your mileage may vary) in a large 2g pot. Add pork fat and bones (you can wrap in cheesecloth to make it easier to remove). Turn to medium-low heat, cover and simmer for two hours or until fat is completely rendered. This will become your soup stock. Scoop out all pieces of fat and bones and throw these away (I generally remove any meat pieces before throwing away).
- Add cubed pork, onions (not the red onions), and garlic cloves into stock and cook for one hour on very low heat. At this point I generally take it off the heat and let it cool overnight in the refrigerator. This allows me to skim the fat from the top very easily. Otherwise you can try removing fat using a turkey baster or leave it in if you like.
- If you let cool overnight, return to stovetop and heat for 15 minutes. Add additional water if necessary. Add cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika, bay leaves, basil, white wine and tomato paste. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for two hours or transfer to crock pot and simmer for remainder of the day. Add water if stew becomes too thick. Add additional salt if necessary.
- Serve hot with warm flour tortillas or corn chips. Top with Cheddar cheese or sour cream if desired.