I’ve been making up recipes for years. I think it all started when it was my job to have the family dinner on the table by the time mom came home from work. Ah nothing like the pressure of cooking everyday with limited store bought ingredients, but plenty of frozen & canned meats, fruits & veggies from the garden to get those creative juices flowing.
Here’s one I made up in college, flexing my skills on the fast, easy, available, pre-made foods. I gotta say it became a favorite among my friends. This one also works wonders for those last minute potlucks too. Just double the recipe to 6 cans & 2 boxes & use a larger cake pan. Guys at potlucks love this stuff & clean the plate every time! Go figure…
Three Cans & a Box
1 Can Tamales
1 Can Chili
1 Can Corn
1 Box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix + milk & egg
Pre-heat oven 350°
Open can of tamales & dump into 9×9 pan. Remove the pieces of paper surrounding each tamale & chop into bite size pieces. Open can of chili & add the pan. Open can of corn, use lid to drain juice & add to the pan. Mix ingredients together. Make corn muffin mix by following directions on the back of the box. Spoon batter over the top of the chili mixture & bake until the top is golden brown.
So I like the flavor of pozole, but the hominy, well, not so much. So this is what I came up with. It’s perfect for my oh too big 6-quart slow cooker crock pot thing, but I’m sure it can be slow-baked in one of those fancy enamel coated cast iron dutch ovens too. Don’t let the fact that it contains 5 jalapenos slow ya down either, after 8 hours they mellow into a flavorful sauce that won’t send you grasping frantically for your beer. I don’t measure when I cook so the amounts are approximate, just make it look & taste good to you.
Sweet Potato Stew
4 Pork Shoulder Steaks
Salt & Pepper
2 Onions, sliced thin
3 Jalapeno chilis, seeded & minced
1 Tbsp Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic
6 Cloves Garlic, pressed
1 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice
2 Oranges (Peel a strip of zest with a potato peeler, about 12″ or so, then juice the oranges)
2 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo sauce, minced
1 Tsp dried oregano leaves
2 largish Sweet Potatoes, washed & chopped about 1/2″ cubes
1/2 bunch Cilantro, remove the big stems & chopped
Salt & pepper then brown steaks one at a time in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. You won’t need oil, there should be enough fat on the steaks. Stack them up in the middle of your slow cooker.
Add some oil if there isn’t juices in the pan from the meat. Add the onions, jalapenos & meat magic to the pan. Cook until the onions are softened & the rendered juices have cooked out. Add the garlic & just warm it on top, don’t brown the garlic. Add the tomatoes, using the juices to scrape up all the goodness stuck on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, then add it the slow cooker.
Distribute the onions & peppers between the steaks, but keep them stacked in the center of the slow cooker. Add the orange juice, chipotles and oregano to the slow cooker & stir. Nestle the sweet potatoes & orange zest strip around the edges. Add the chicken broth until the meat & potatoes are covered.
My cooker has a low 8 hour setting. Cook for 8 hours, go to work, go to bed, whatever, just don’t stir or mess with it. If you are using the oven, cover tightly, 300° for 4 hours or so, until potatoes are soft & the meat is starting to fall apart.
Turn off slow cooker & pull the meat out & set aside to cool. Pull the potatoes out & set aside. Discard the orange zest strip. Let the juices settle & skim off the fat. Mix some corn starch with water. Add to the juices & turn slow cooker on to high to thicken sauce. Add potatoes back in & the cilantro. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull the bones, gristle & fat bits out & toss the meat chunks back into the pot.
Spoon into bowls & serve with a daub of sour cream & some tortillas, a spritz of fresh lime, & the beer of course! Mmmm
This freezes well too.