Easy Southwestern Pork Stew was a fave when my kids were young! I seem to remember making this over and over, and as I made it today I remembered why. It’s not only delish, but it’s also fast (under 30 minutes) and easy & it’s so versatile.
At our house, we’re all about anything Southwestern from authentic cuisine to quick little down and dirty recipes like this one. As long as a few of the key flavors are there we’re happy! But speaking of authenticity, don’t mistake this easy skillet dinner for Pork Chili Verde (green chili) that’s made throughout the Southwest and a source of so much pride, although this is a “nod” in that direction.
About Easy Southwestern Pork Stew:
This stew def hits all those Southwestern flavor notes. At it’s basic it has the pork, green chiles, potatoes and of course the spices but I don’t always stop there. Sometimes I’ll add in like I did today, a can of rinsed beans, usually black or pinto. Other times I’ll add in a little corn, frozen or canned (well-drained) is fine. Both of those are great ways to stretch the recipe and up the nutritional value at the same time. I always keep the potatoes, though, because they’re what helps the stew thicken just a bit and become stew-like with no other thickeners.
If I want to get fancier, I’ll cover the top with biscuits and I might or might not brush them with some melted butter with a little parsley and garlic (powder seems to work better than fresh) and or sprinkle those biscuits with a little cheese. Then, of course, it has to go in the oven, which adds a little cook time. If I’m not doing that, I’ll serve with biscuits, tortillas or cornbread for a match made in heaven!
The flavors in this recipe are family-friendly; there’s just a little chili powder, the canned green chili is super mild and there is a touch of cayenne just for interest. The recipe just calls for a little; at my house, a little more goes in. I suppose you could add jalapenos, too, if that’s your jam or a little hot sauce. Or maybe pass either at the table. And you couldn’t go wrong with a little sour cream, lime and/or avocado. Just sayin’.
Making Easy Southwestern Pork Stew:
This is a recipe that I’d love to cook in one pan but I usually don’t, just because it’s faster to cook in two pans. I get the potatoes started and while they’re simmering, I cut the pork into cubes, toss it in the spices and then saute the garlic and add the pork and quickly cook it through. At that point, the potatoes are going to be ready and they go right into the skillet with the pork to simmer for just a minute or two and then the recipe is finished with the green chili and salt and pepper.
The most important thing in this recipe is to not overcook the pork since the recipes call for pork chops which are generally, these days from the prone to be dry loin. Watch the size of the potatoes (using red potatoes helps, too) and the pork as you cut them. That’s going to make sure everything is done at just the right time and the pork won’t get dry and/or the potatoes overcooked. Overcooked potatoes will just suck up every bit of moisture.
Adding an Optional Biscuit Topping:
Adding a quick biscuit topping definitely takes this stew to next level comfort food but it’s is going to add time to the recipe, 15 to 20 minutes to bake. Make sure there is enough liquid in the skillet which shouldn’t be a problem if the recipe is followed precisely. If you’ve forgotten to cook the potatoes with the lid on, simmered the dish too long or added ingredients, that can affect the amount of liquid.
If in doubt add a little extra broth to the pan (about 1/4 cup) before the biscuits go on; the biscuits will suck up a little of the moisture in the pan and the oven time will take it’s a toll, too.
Just use a can of biscuits, snipped into 4 pieces, a good Homemade Biscuit, or an easy Drop Biscuit. Depending on the size of the can or the recipe, there may be enough left over after covering the top of the skillet to bake one or two on the side.
Make sure the stew is simmering, drop on the biscuits and bake for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Watch at the end. If the biscuits are brown before they’re cooked through, place foil over the top for the last few minutes. It doesn’t hurt to put a pan on the shelf below in case of any overflow.
Saving Money on Easy Southwestern Pork Stew:
When I do pork chops, I buy a large pork loin roast when they are on sale and (sharpen your knife, first) cut into thicknesses my family will use. Some thicker, some thinner, and then I divide into Ziplocs and freeze. Any scrappy pieces or bits go into a package labeled for stir-fry or for recipes like this. The larger loins drop down to $1.99 a pound regularly and on a great special, $1.49 a pound, a considerable saving over buying chops at the store.
The price of red potatoes seems to vary more with the seasons than the common russet, less expensive during the fall and around St. Patrick’s Day in the spring. Since this recipe calls to cut the potatoes up, look for the larger ones which are usually cheaper than the small or baby varieties.
Any Mexican ingredients like the canned green chili in this recipe will go on sale sporadically but the best time to stock up will be around Cinco de Mayo. Watch for sales, too, around the Superbowl and possibly New Years. If you’d like to see lists for items I look for on sale for specific holidays, check out my post Win at the Grocery. If you have access to a Mexican or Latino market you’re likely to find fabulous pricing on many items.
Easy Southwestern Pork Stew
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish Pork
- Cuisine: Mexican or Southwestern
- 1 1/3 cups chicken broth, a little more if needed
- 3 large red potatoes, 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons oil, more as needed
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 (4-ounce can) diced green chili peppers with any juices
- salt & pepper to taste
Add chicken stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until nearly tender.
In the meantime, cut the pork and sprinkle with the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Toss to coat. Add oil to skillet, heat over medium heat and when hot add garlic. Saute for a minute, then working in batches, add half the pork, and cook until browned and just cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add and saute the remaining pork, adding in a little additional oil if needed. Drain any excess fat and return the first batch of pork and any juices to the skillet.
Add the potato mixture, bring it to a simmer. Stir in the green chilies and simmer until potatoes are just cooked through. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. If stew seems too thick, add a lttle extra chicken broth.
- If desired one can of rinsed beans, black or pinto, rinsed and drained and/or 1 can of corn, drained or equivelent amount of frozen (about 1 1/2 cups) may be added.
- Instructions to add optional biscuit topping are in the body of the post.
Keywords: canned green chile, Mexican or Southwestern, Mostly Pantry Meal, Pork, pork chops, Pork Loin, Potatoes, 30 or Under