One-pot meals and I are besties these days. Keeping an eye on an increasingly active infant means I just do not have the time to prepare elaborate meals any more; pretty much everything I make these days is a one- pot meal that requires very little effort!
I have been craving to see the ocean ever since my daughter was born, but living in Colorado means the beaches are ridiculously far away. I must have been daydreaming about the Caribbeans, which automatically led me to think about jerk (because, obviously, who wouldn't?), and before I knew it my jerk pork stew was bubbling away in the oven!
I used this recipe to get me started. I tweaked the recipe to suit my tastes, and since I do not have a grill, I decided to convert it to a hearty stew instead. I wanted a soupier stew, so I went ahead and added coconut milk, which also helped tone down the super-spiciness of the dish! If you want a thicker, spicier stew, then feel free to add a lesser amount of the coconut milk!
This recipe requires very little hands-on time; the marinade does most of the work the first day and the oven does the rest! I had learned an awesome tip on America's Test Kitchen that came in very handy when I was preparing this dish: They had showed that meat need not be browned in batches (which can take forever), but when cooked uncovered in the oven, partially submerged in liquid, the Maillard reaction will brown the meat anyway. It worked like a charm! Try it sometime! :) —Madhuja
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Madhuja is a Colorado-based blogger and no stranger to our contests.
WHAT: A spicy, Caribbean-inspired jerk pork to make us dream of the beach.
HOW: Make a stew from a braise by cooking pork in its fiery marinade, then adding potatoes and other vegetables to the same pot. Coconut milk thins the broth and tames the flames.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love a meal that comes together without a lot of tending, and this stew fits the bill. While the coconut milk cuts the heat from the habaneros, this stew is very spicy—and very flavorful! (Though use less brown sugar if you don't like things too sweet.) —The Editors
6 to 8
scallions, white and pale green parts, roughly chopped
soy sauce (low-sodium)
freshly grated nutmeg
fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
minced garlic (about 6 to 8 cloves)
habanero peppers, stemmed
Zest and juice of 2 limes
Zest and juice of 1 orange
country-style pork ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, with fat pockets trimmed
Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Mix the marinade thoroughly with the meat (use a spatula!) and refrigerate for a day.
Heat oven to 325° F. Transfer the meat and all the marinade to a Dutch oven bring it up to a boil over medium heat.
Once it has come to a boil, transfer the Dutch oven, uncovered, to the oven and let the meat braise for 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender, making sure you stir it halfway through. If a lot of fat floats to the surface, go ahead and ladle some of it off and dispose.
Add the potatoes and carrots and cook, covered, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Add the peas and coconut milk and cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the meat is absolutely falling apart. Check for seasoning.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy with steamed rice!