Comfort food may not seem like the sexiest choice for a romantic meal. But romantic dinner recipes made with aphrodisiac ingredients are what our site is about. And this warming pork stew recipe proves that you can have a romantic meal of simple peasant food – and it can be fast and easy, too!
A romantic dinner recipe with quick prep and little cleanup
Instead of a pork stew meat, I use already prepared pork carnitas for the stew meat to help cut down on the prep time and cleanup. It’s a great tip for making a flavorful and fairly mess-free stew fast. And it means that you can have a rich and complexly flavored stew with pork on the table in less than an hour – which leaves the rest of the night free for other pleasures.
Can you make this easy stew recipe in a slow cooker?
If you’re wondering whether you can cook this pork stew recipe in a slow cooker, you can. (Here’s a link to my favorite slow cooker, in case you need to invest in a great one.) But it isn’t necessary to make this a crockpot stew, since you can cook it on the stovetop with a dutch oven in less than an hour.
What is a tomatillo?
What makes this easy pork stew a recipe for a date night is not only the layers of spice but the addition of tomatillo. You may not be familiar with using this Mexican fruit. The tomatillo may remind you of green, unripe tomatoes, (which are also fruit).
Their flavor could also be compared with tomato, but more acidic. They’re also tangier and a little more vegetal than tomatoes. (Don’t let the description scare you off. Tomatillo is truly a fantastic fruit.)
Cooking with tomatillo
If you’ve never used tomatillo before, all you really need to know is to remove the papery husks, then wash the fruit well before using. I think you’ll enjoy discovering how well this slightly tart fruit works in this warming stew recipe. You might even be inspired to try it in other soup recipes.
You’ll notice that for this recipe, you broil, cool and chop the tomatillos before adding them to the stew. (I like the hint of char the tomatillos develop from broiling.) So be sure to plan out your time accordingly.
Tomatillo with pork
Tomatillo isn’t a traditional aphrodisiac but what it does to this pork dish is pure sensory magic.
The sweet and sour flavors of the tomatillo mingled with the fatty pork and earthy sweetness of the sweet potato – and don’t forget the aphrodisiacs of garlic and oregano -brings the taste buds to life, appreciating the unusual and exciting sensation.
Because the pork is so rich – keep in mind, this is a carnitas stew – I held back on the meat, adding equal parts vegetable, to give this tomatillo pork stew an energizing balance. Scooped over rice, this stew will warm you from the inside out. Prepare yourself for a burning desire to get naked!
What to serve with pork stew
This vegetable-laden stew recipe is basically a one-pot meal. But because it is so flavorful and rich, I like to serve this warming pork dish over white rice. You can also serve it as you would a traditional stew in a bowl with a side of bread or – my preference – fluffy, homemade flour tortillas.
In the rare event that you have leftovers, you can freeze them in an airtight container.
Warming Tomatillo and Pork Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Spice
- 8 oz tomatillos husks removed
- 1 tbsp cooking oil such as canola or avocado oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups chicken stock plus more as needed
- 1 lb prepared pork carnitas shredded to bite-sized pieces
- 1 sweet potato approx. 12-14 oz, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (bite size)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- cooked white rice or thick flour tortillas for serving
- Broil the whole tomatillos on a sheet pan for 10 minutes, flipping once.
- Allow the tomatillo to cool for 5 minutes before chopping. Set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they become translucent,, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin and oregano and sauté for an additional minute.
- Turn the heat to high and add the cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits of onion or garlic from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in the chicken stock and add the tomatillos, pork and sweet potato chunks. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cover and continue to cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over warm, white rice or tortillas.
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