Mexican Pork Stew with Squash and Potatoes
(serves 4) This Mexican pork stew –– or guiso, as my sister-in-law, who taught me how to make it, called it –– is adaptable to whatever is at hand. The recipe calls for zucchini, but you can use a winter squash or chayote, a Mexican squash shaped like a pear. Instead of jalapeños for heat, you also can add ready-made salsa or canned chipotle. How much heat depends on your taste. 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut in bite-sized, ½ to 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 – 2 jalapeños, chopped fine
1 pound tomatillos, husked, washed, and cut in half
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed in hand
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 medium-sized new potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1½-inch rounds Heat vegetable oil in 11-inch skillet or braising pan. When oil is hot, add the chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeño; sauté over medium-high heat, until onion is translucent. Add pork and sauté until browned. Add the tomatillos, oregano, salt, and pepper, and 1 to 1½ cups of water. (The meat should be partially covered.) Heat to a gentle simmer, then add cilantro and cover pan.
In 10 minutes, check tomatillos, which should be soft. With the back of a wooden spoon, squash them. Continue simmering, covered, for 1 hour, or until pork is tender and sauce has thickened. Add new potatoes and zucchini and simmer, covered, for another 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes and zucchini are done. (If sauce isn't thick enough, simmer uncovered in the last step.)
Serve with tortillas. If desired, serve over rice. ------- Try an oil infusion for a cooking kick, or put in a beautiful bottle for a gift
(courtesy of Kay Fahey, Reno) Rosemary oil
1 cup olive oil
3 sprigs fresh rosemary Combine oil and rosemary in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat until rosemary begins to sizzle gently and release its aroma. Remove from heat. Cover and let cool to room temperature. Strain into glass container. Will keep in refrigerator a couple weeks. Return to room temperature before using. This technique works well for sage and thyme as well. Add a clove or two of garlic with the herbs for added flavor.

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