Watching sports? Spicy Chipotle Pork Skewers with Sweet Potatoes on Cheese Tostadas with Black Beans will fire you up for another round, even if you don't agree with the calls. (Add enough jalapeno garnish and the coaches, referees, and umpires had better be prepared for opinions of their judging skills.)
Made in advance so it's easy on the cook, this hearty dish is full of sass with smoked chipotle jalapeno peppers and a subtle hint of chocolate. Substitute chicken or turkey cubes for pork loin or serve two versions. Triple quantities for parties. Make a stew first, cool and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Layer sauteed black bean mixture on top of cheese tostadas. Top with skewers of warm juicy morsels and spoon some sauce over. Tuck in with gusto and may your team win!
4 servings. Cooking time is 1 hour 35 minutes.
Chipotle Pork Stew:
Extra-virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, or sunflower oil for browning meat
2 pounds (907 kg) fresh pork loin or pork shoulder, large cubes for skewers (4 cups large cubes)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon (15 ml volume) ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml volume) whole cumin seeds or to taste
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 4 whole dried chipotle peppers or to taste
2 orange zest strips
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 ounce (28 g) unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, or to taste
2 cups (16 ounces or 473 ml) broth, preferably homemade (pork, beef, chicken, or vegetable broth)
1 cup (8 ounces or 237 ml) tomato passata (use canned San Marzano tomatoes, puree)
1 pound (454 g) fresh firm ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, large chop
12 ounces (340 g) sweet potatoes (2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes), peeled, medium-sized cubes, immerse during final 15 minutes
Ovenproof baking paper sheet or pierced foil sheet
Corn, sunflower, grapeseed oil for sauteing
Green bell pepper, diced
White onion, diced
Cooked black beans
Salt to taste
Corn/wheat flour tortillas, toasted on a comal
Shredded or sliced Mexican cheese, or Monterey Jack, Cheddar
Lid or foil sheet to capture heat and force cheese to melt quickly
Plating Garnish: Optional
Sliced fresh jalapeno or other pepper
Fresh coriander or pipicha leaves
Fresh lime wedges, fresh juice squeezed over
1. Browning and Combining Ingredients: This step takes about 20 minutes. In a deep broad pot or Dutch-oven, warm the oil over medium heat. Divide the meat cubes into 2 batches. Lightly brown each batch for about 5 to 8 minutes per batch, lightly salt to extract juice, allow enough air space for even browning. Transfer browned cubes to a bowl to hold juice. Repeat with the next batch. Do not wash the pot or Dutch-oven. Pour out any excess oil.
Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Pour a small amount of oil into the pot or Dutch-oven, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the browned meat (or poultry cubes) with juice and stir well. Add the ground coriander, cumin seeds, garlic cloves, chipotle peppers, and orange zest strips, and stir for several seconds until their enticing aromas are released. Add the pinch of ground cinnamon and the chocolate. Increase the heat.
Pour in the broth to deglaze. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the tomato passata and stir to distribute well. Bring to a boil, then add the fresh chopped tomatoes, stir well, turn off the heat.
3. Oven: This step takes 30 minutes + 30 minutes + 15 minutes. Then cool and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
Loosely place the paper or foil sheet over the pot or Dutch-oven to minimize reduction, then insert into the center of the preheated oven to cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the sheet and reserve, stir well for even cooking. Recover with the sheet and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the sheet. Add the raw sweet potato cubes, stir the stew and level for even cooking, and put back into the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the stew from the oven. Remove the whole garlic, whole dried chili peppers, and nibble on the orange zest strips. Cool down, cover well, then refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
Reheat: Over low to medium heat, reheat for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste the stew and season if needed. (Remember the fresh lime juice will add mild sharpness or acidity so salt may not be needed.) Skewer while warm OR skewer when cold and reheat in a preheated 325 F/163 C/Gas Mark 3 oven for 8 to10 minutes or under a broiler until hot to the touch.
4. Black Beans: Pour oil into a saute pan. Add the diced green pepper and onion and saute for a few minutes until softened but not browned. Add the cooked black beans and stir carefully with a flexible spatula so as not to break the beans. Thoroughly heat the beans through. Season to taste with salt. Turn off the heat and reserve.
5. Cheese Tostadas: Distribute shredded or sliced cheese on top of one side of each tortilla. Heat through on a comal or griddle or inside a non-stick saute pan. The tortilla heats quickly. To force heat to melt the cheese quickly, place a lid over or a foil sheet.
6. Plating: Place cheese tostadas on serving plates. Mound black bean mix on top. Arrange skewer on top. Spoon some sauce from the stew over. Garnish.
Enjoy every delectable bite!