[Recipe] Pork & Green Chile Stew w/ Cilantro-Masa Dumplings

2013-pantry-challenge-copy

So far, so good with the Pantry Challenge. Yesterday for dinner, we ate leftovers of the Farfalle Pasta & Feta SauceThis morning, I got out ground pork to defrost, having no idea what I was going to do with it.

Today, in the Pacific Northwest, it’s dreary and cold. (What’s new this time of year?) So, I’ve declared it a soup day. After living in Denver for several years, one of my all-time favorite soups is Pork & Green Chili Stew. Absolutely delicious! So, I decided, that would be my culinary creation for the day. This time, however, I’m adding a little something-something to it: Masa Dumplings!

Being a good little Southern girl, I know a thing or two about dumplings. But the dumplings I know about are Chicken ‘n Dumplings or Apple Dumplings.  Typically, I serve the stew with tortillas, which are made from masa. I thought, one could surely make dumplings out of masa. And what do ya know, you can!

Since I needed to use what I have during this challenge,  I diverged from a traditional recipe for the stew. Therefore, instead of cubed pork, I used the ground pork. Also, since I was adding dumplings, I opted not to use potatoes, which is typical in most Pork Green Chile Stews. Lastly, instead of pinto beans, I used great northern beans.  It may not be “authentic,” but I think it’s still good!

Pork & Green Chile Stew with Cilantro-Masa Dumplings

Pork Green Chile Stew

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of roasted chiles, chopped (If you don’t have roasted chiles, use canned.)
  • 1 cup of dried pinto beans (I’ve also used Great Northern beans.)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5 0z) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin (I really like cumin!)
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until just softening. Add garlic and meat. Turn down to medium, so you don’t burn garlic. Cook until pork is done. Add remainder of ingredients, bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer. Cover and cook until dried/soaked beans are tender, approximately 1-1.5 hours.  After an hour, check to see if beans are tender. If so, adjust seasonings prior to dropping dumplings into the stew.

Roll masa mixture into ping-pong sized dumplings. Add a few dumplings to the stew at a time. Allow to begin to cook a couple of minutes before adding others. Don’t crowd the dumplings. You may not use all the dumpling mixture, it’s okay. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes, or until dumplings are fully cooked. (Don’t open the lid like I did, or some dumplings will fall apart!)  The masa dumplings will thicken the stew, and make it so creamy and delicious! To serve, top with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, a sprig of cilantro and tortilla chips.

Cilantro-Masa Dumplings

  • 3/4 cup of masa
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup water or buttermilk (depending upon consistency, you may need a bit more)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine masa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and work into the masa mixture. Use your hands, a pastry blender, but I used my mini-food processor. Stir in water and cilantro to combine.  Set aside until ready to go into stew.

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