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Spicy Pork and Vegetable Stew

Serves 4 to 6

The first time I made this pork stew recipe, I only knew that I wanted to use spices that I do not use very often. I just opened my spice drawers, got some ideas, opened jars and smelled the aromas as I proceeded to create. The results were amazing. The spices I used are similar to those used in Moroccan cooking but, of course, most Moroccans do not eat pork. Despite the number of ingredients, this is a very easy recipe that goes together quickly, and most of the time involved is in the hands-off cooking process. This is a delicious main dish that can be served with couscous, orzo, rice or noodles.

Ingredients

Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add to the hot pan, in batches as needed, and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the onion, green peppers and carrots to the pan and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté another minute. Add the tomato paste and stir well to combine. Add the wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients, including the browned pork, leaving out the parsley. Season again with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir in the parsley and serve over couscous, orzo, rice or noodles.

Notes: If you start with a three pound pork butt or shoulder, you will have about two pounds after trimming off the fat. You can easily serve more people by just increasing the amount of vegetables. To serve a few less people, you can use less pork without decreasing the vegetables. If desired, spice it up even more with a hotter chile powder or cayenne pepper. Leftovers reheat very well.