Pork with smoky tomato sauce, potatoes and avocado

I wish I had a better picture of this stew to share, but last night on the time we were ready to eat, it was late and we still had to drive about 10 miles out of town with all the food to Kevin's brothers house, so we were in a bit of a hurry. Yesterday was just one of those days, where if one thing goes wrong, five things go wrong. Rick Bayless and this stew, made it so much better.

We are still in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan visiting Kevin's brother and his wife... I wanted to join in the cooking club this week and I hope to be able to join in as often as possible while we are on the road to Alaska (once we are there it will be a lot easier) so I offered to make Mexican food last night for everyone. No big deal right? I decided it would be best if I cooked most of it in our camper, since I know I have everything I need... This is Kevin's brothers second home here and they don't have all the kitchen supplies I need as I found out while cooking chicken and dumplings the night before. I brought half my kitchen, so I'm pretty well equipped in here. But so far, I've only cooked pork fried rice in this kitchen. So I'm still figuring it out and getting organized.

So we bought the food I needed and Kevin dropped me off at the camper so I could start cooking, and he ran to the hospital - he had cut his arm and it was starting to look like yet another staph infection starting, so he wanted to get it looked at so he could get on the antibiotics right away if he needed them. As soon as he left, I realized somehow I had forgotten to put chorizo on the list I worked for over an hour making. No problem, I'll call him on his cell phone... well he didn't answer. So I texted him - and while I was typing about the sausage, the phone told me no, you can't being doing this - and then shut off. I spent the next hour trying to figure out what was wrong with it (new to the phones) and when I decided I should take the case off so I could check the battery, I couldn't get that open without breaking it. It was driving me nuts. So I gave up, figured he'd be back soon anyway and just kept cooking. Since I've never used my propane oven in here before, I couldn't figure out how to light that - it's similar to the one I had in my smaller camper but I couldn't find the pilot to get it lit in this one. It took a while, but finally I figured it out so I could roast my jalapenos and tomatoes for salsa. 

Eventually the woman who runs the campground we are staying at showed up worried because Kevin called her... she assumed because he was in the hospital, it was bad. I went up to the office and called him and he had been held up because he needed to know what medication he could take - and he couldn't get a hold of me to find out. 

So we got all that solved, fixed the phones later that night and thanks to Rick Bayless (and a margarita) calmed the nerves.

When I read this recipe I had this horrible feeling that this pork would not turn out tender... you know when you read a recipe and think "this isn't going to work?" I had that feeling. But Rick has never let me down with any recipe of his so I did as he said. Which obviously is always the correct thing to do - because Rick Bayless is always right. 

This is warm, comforting, spicy, and just about perfect. The chorizo makes it, combined with the pork and chipotles it's a match made in heaven. We enjoyed this with some fresh homemade Guacamole, homemade roasted salsa, tortillas and I also made Rick's mushroom Queso Fundido which I've made twice now because it's so quick and so delicious to go along with it. And to top it off, some fresh Queso fresco and Chihuahua cheese. 

Pork with smoky tomato sauce, potatoes and avocado
from Authentic Mexican, by Rick Bayless

1 pound lean, boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs (such as marjoram and thyme)
3 bay leaves
 2-3 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large medium ripe tomatoes, roasted or boiled, peeled and cored
4 ounces Chorizo sausage, removed from it's casings
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 canned chipotles chillies in adobo, seeded and thinly sliced
4 tsps of the adobo sauce from the can of chilies
salt, about 1/2 tsp
sugar, about 1/2 tsp

for the garnish
1 ripe medium avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
optional, fresh Guacamole 
 Mexican Queso fresco

 In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the pork, bring back to a
boil and skim the foam that rises to the surface. Stir in the mixed dried
herbs and the bay leaves, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered,
until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. If there is time, let the meat cool
in the broth.

  Remove the cubes of pork from the broth. Strain the broth and skim
off any fat that rises to the surface. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the broth for
this dish and the rest for another use. When the meat is cool enough to
handle, dry it on paper towels and pull the meat apart with your hands.

  Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil
and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.

  In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add
the chorizo and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove
with a slotted spoon. Raise the heat to moderately high. Add the chopped onions and the pork to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.

  Add the tomatoes, oregano and chorizo and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in
the potatoes, reserved broth, chipotles, adobo sauce, salt and sugar.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Just before serving, top with sliced avocado, some fresh onions, Queso fresco, or some fresh Guacamole. 

 Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded


Oh, I love the Soo!! I bet it's beautiful there right now. This dish sounds absolutely amazing, I know I'd love it. I bet it did make a rough day seem just a little bit better... ;)
MM said…
What a day you had. I'm glad it all turned out ok. Funny how you mentioned reading a recipe and thinking "this will never work." I do that too. (But usually try it anyway!)
This sounds delicious! Glad that everything turns out OK. Nothing like a good comforting delicious meal to end a day such as this!
I have been searching for canned chipotle without much luck!
Have a nice day!
Wow - you certainly worked the hardest for you dish this week! Glad it all turned out in the end and that your sweetie is on the mend.
Good food and good drink make it all seem alright. ;-)
Looks delicious...you may convince me to try creative cooking one day. Hope that was the worst day of your trip and the rest is smooth sailing...

Deb in Hawaii said…
This does look like the perfect hearty comfort food dish. Yum! ;-)

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