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Texas Stewed Pork


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder/pork butt

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 6 slices good-quality, lean, smoky bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped

  • 1 tablespoon cumin (a scant palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (a scant palmful)

  • 1 small cinnamon stick

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

  • 2-3 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo (for a medium to spicy heat level)

  • 1 bottle lager beer (12 ounces), at room temperature

  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)

  • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges

  • 1 large red pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (28 ounces)

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

  • Corn tortillas, charred


Bring the meat to room temperature and pat dry. Cut the meat into 2-inch pieces. Just before cooking, season with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.

Heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and stir until crisp; remove. Working in batches, caramelize the meat on all sides. Remove to a plate and repeat, adding additional oil if necessary.

To the meat drippings, add the carrot, celery, onion, sliced garlic, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, oregano, salt and pepper. Partially cover the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chipotle paste, cook for 1 minute, then stir in the beer to deglaze and reduce the liquid by half. Add the stock, then slide the meat and bacon back into the pot. Bring to a bubble, then cover and transfer to the oven. Roast for 1 hour. Stir in the red onions, red bell pepper and tomatoes. Roast the stew for 1 hour more. Stir in the lime juice and the cilantro.

Serve in shallow bowls with tortillas alongside.