“Jamaican” Pork Stew, or something like that

21 Apr

Cuisine is only about making foods taste the way they are supposed to taste.
– Charlie Trotte

DSC_2806

I don’t typically start my posts with a quote but I felt that it was particularly fitting.  This week, I decided share with you a “Jamaican” pork stew recipe.  I put Jamaican in quotes because I have to admit that I don’t really know that much about Jamaican food.  I mean, Alex and I have had jerk chicken and the occasional beef patty.  But that hardly makes us knowledgeable with the cuisine. So I didn’t want to come off sounding like I was making some sort of traditional dish here, because I’m not (or at least I don’t think so).

My intent was to make some something for dinner this week that would help clean up my refrigerator and simple enough that I wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping.  I had a few stalks of celery, carrots, 2 sweet peppers and an onion that needed to be used up so a stew was the obvious entrée choice.  Pulling out some meat from the freezer and other pantry staples, I concocted this Jamaican-ish pork stew. I’m calling it Jamaican because I used jerk seasoning.  That is the only reason.  I don’t know if crushed tomatoes, celery, carrots or sweet peppers are part of the cuisine at all. I also served this over Jasmine rice which I know is also very unconventional with this type of dish.  So I guess I’m breaking all of the rules here.

But you know what? Cooking is all about trying new things and experimenting.  There really aren’t any rules that you have to abide by (except for the meat and poultry temperature chart, you need to follow that). How else will you learn what goes well together and what doesn’t? Trying to stay within the confides of a particular cuisine just because it’s the “right” thing to do is BORING! So go ahead, use feta instead of paneer and cilantro instead of parsley.  Test it out, make mistakes or even better…create something AWESOME!

Jamaican Pork Stew
4 servings

4 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tbsp jerk seasoning, divided
1 lb pork (all I had was pork loin but I think pork shoulder would’ve been better)
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 sweet peppers, diced
1 9oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp flour
5 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut pork into cubes and mix with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp jerk seasoning. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a dutch oven, heat remaining olive oil on medium high heat.  Add the marinated pork and cook until very brown. Remove pork and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add onions, celery and carrots.  Depending on what cut of pork you use, you may need to add a little more oil. Cook vegetables on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add flour to the cooking vegetables and stir for one minute, the flour should be like a wet sand consistency.
  5. Stir in chicken stock one cup at a time allowing the liquid to come to a boil before adding more.
  6. Add peppers, crushed tomatoes and cooked pork.
  7. Bring stew back up to a boil, reduce to medium low heat, cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
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