Who’s ready for warmer Spring weather!? I know I am! Nonetheless, mother nature decided to throw another cold spell our way this last weekend. Ice everywhere. Urgh. Someday soon we’ll be into spring veggies and fruits — cooler crisp salads and picnics, but that time just isn’t here yet. For now, if it’s cold where you are — dig into this incredibly warm, hearty, and deeply flavored stew.
Okay, so there’s good news and there’s bad news. Which one do you want first? The GOOD news — is that this stew has soooo many of my favorite things. The blend of flavors, and list of hearty ingredients is really what makes it special. The BAD news — is that the paleo snobs out there (yeah, I went there) are going to call me out for creating a recipe that has beans and rice. Well, let me tell you folks a little something about where I come from. I come from the Rio Grande Valley — deep down in South Texas. And you know what? We adore our beans. We adore our rice. Get over it. As for my thoughts on whether or not they are “paleo”…well, that may require a whole separate post. Here’s a quick ramble for ya —
The Low Down On : Beans & Rice
First and foremost, I have lived a paleo lifestyle for well over three years. Completely grain-free. Completely legume-free. I’ve been there and I’ve done that and I’ve moved on. Paleo was a choice I made; I didn’t start eating this way because I have an issue with grains or legumes; in fact, I tolerate them just fine most of the time. I like to eat white rice after working out sometimes. I like beans in chili and in soups. I like beans when we “cheat” and make our own homemade nachos at home. I don’t eat rice or beans every day, nor do I eat them every week. But I do enjoy them, very much. When creating this stew I felt it needed both — enough said! **If you have a particular auto-immune disorder, particular weight-loss goals, or are sensitive to grains/legumes then by all means this recipe is not for you — and I acknowledge that they are not for everyone.**
If you would like a recent and thought-provoking article on the role legumes can play in a paleo diet — check out this post “Are Legumes ‘Paleo’? And Does it Really Matter?” from Chris Kresser.
Woo hoo, now that all that nasty explanation stuff is out of the way — on to the recipe! I mentioned it has so many of my favorite things. Tender pork shoulder. Mulay’s Chorizo Sausage (which is the BEST, btw.) Red beans. Flavorful aromatics. Need I say more??
- Pork shoulder (about 1 lb worth, cubed)
- 1 lb. ground chorizo (I use Mulay’s)
- 1 lb. dried red beans (soaked in cold water overnight, then drained)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
- a few celery leaves, chopped
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. hot sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- ~2 cups of white rice (for serving — prepare by your favorite method)
- fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a cast-iron dutch oven heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the cubes of pork shoulder to your liking and add them to the pot when the oil is hot. After a few minutes you can stir them around and continue until they are browned on all sides. Transfer pork cubes to a bowl.
- Turn your heat down to medium, and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Add some salt, pepper, the paprika, and coriander. Sauté until the veggies start to soften — around 5 minutes.
- To your veggies, add the aromatics — thyme, bay leaves, celery leaves, and hot sauce. Continue to cook about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the water and make sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock, drained beans, and cubes of pork shoulder. Feel free to salt this layer as well (for the beans.)
- Turn the heat up and wait for your mixture to boil. Once you’re there — cover the pot with a tight lid and stick it in the oven. Let it go for 2 hours. No need to stir it.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet brown the chorizo over medium heat. Add it to your stew, cover, and continue to cook another 30 minutes in the oven.
- While your stew is still in the oven, prepare your rice.
- After removing the stew from the oven, squeeze in the lime juice and give it a stir. This will highlight all of its great flavors.
- To serve — put some rice in a bowl, and ladle some stew over it. Garnish with some fresh parsley and enjoy!