Spring is just around the corner. I know it is, the calendar says it is, even though it doesn't feel like it here in Wisconsin. This hearty, slightly spicy stew is just the thing I need to combat the nagging ailments of spring fever. I like to think of it as my 'hygge in a bowl'!
This stew is to food like hot cocoa is to beverage. It really warms the belly after a long day outside in the cold. Serve it up after skiing, snowmobiling, or a long walk in the fresh (nipping) air. Ladle some into bowls after coming in from shoveling yet another pesky foot of wet, heavy white stuff. Or, simply snuggle up by the fireplace with a plate and watch the winds kick up eddies of glistening flakes on the other side of the window.
Garnishes are not necessary, but if you want to add them in, please do! I like the creaminess of avocado, the fresh crunch of thinly sliced radishes, and the salty punch of Cotija cheese. Cilantro, sour cream and corn chips work well, too.
However you choose to dress this stew up (if you dress it up at all), it's going to work wonders on chasing away the winter blues... even if Ol' Man Winter himself has long overstayed his welcome.
and Macros Per Serving:
Total Time: 5 Hours
(Prep: 30 Minutes / Cook: 4 Hours, 30 Minutes)
- 4 pork ribs with bone in
- 1.5 lb. beef rump roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2-4 quarts water
- 2 T fine sea salt
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 small head green cabbage, cut into small chunks and pulsed in a food processor
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 5 dried ancho chiles
- 5 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 T sunflower oil
- 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
- crumbled Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese
- 2 red radishes, sliced very thin
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- fresh grated lime zest
- In a dutch oven, combine the pork ribs, rump roast, and water (add more if needed to cover the meat). Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high, then throw in the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and fresh oregano sprigs. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs, remove the onion, garlic and ginger and set aside in a separate bowl. Remove the bay leaves and oregano sprigs and discard (don't worry if some or most of the leaves remain in the stew, this is ok.) Add in the 'riced' cabbage and almond flour, stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, over medium low for another 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- While the stew is simmering, split the ancho and guajillo chiles; remove the stems and seeds. Place the chiles in a large pot that has been heated over medium heat. Toast the chiles, tossing occasionally, until they begin so smoke slightly and turn dark, about 2 minutes. Carefully add water to cover the chiles, stir to moisten, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the chiles are soft, about 15 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, remove the chiles from the liquid and set them aside. Allow the chile liquid to cool slightly, then taste it. If it is spicy but tastes ever so slightly like raisins, keep it. If it is bitter, toss it.
- Transfer the softened chiles and 1/2 cup cooking liquid from the chiles (or water if bitter), to a blender. Add the reserved onion, garlic, and ginger plus a ladle-full of broth from the meat pot to the blender. Process until smooth, adding more liquid if needed to get a texture that resembles apple sauce. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, stirring and pressing with a rubber spatula if needed, and then discard the solids.
- In a small pot, heat the sunflower oil over medium. Carefully add the strained chile mixture to the hot oil and stir to combine. Cover partially and cook until reduced by half while stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. The color will deepen into a deep reddish brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the meat mixture has finished simmering, the pork rib meat should have pretty much fallen off the bones. Take out the bones and discard them. Using a large spoon, break up the pork and beef until it resembles pulled meat. Be on the lookout for any smaller bones that you may have missed and remove them. Stir in the chili sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-low. Cook for another hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally until mixture boils down to a thick stew.
- To serve: Add lettuce to the bottom of six shallow soup bowls. Ladle one big scoop of stew over the lettuce. Rub dried oregano leaves between the palms of your hands to release the flavors, then sprinkle evenly over the stew.
- Garnish with avocado slices, Cotija cheese, radishes, and lime zest.