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Castano Stew

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2 lb's diced pork
1 lg onion chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 lg garlic clove
1 serrano pepper
1 lg red bell pepper
2 tbs comino (yes, two tablespoons)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbs chili powder
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes (or the equivalent fresh if you like dicing tomatoes)
28 oz water
4 med diced, sweet potatoes
2 chunky sliced carrots
16 oz can pinto
15 oz can black
1 lb frozen corn

The hardest part about this dish is roasting and peeling the serrano and bell peppers. Cut the tops off and pull out the seeds and membrane. You can slice them in half lengthwise, if you wish for roasting, or just do it whole.
For roasting, you can put them on a cookie sheet and pop them into a hot oven. drop them into a hot skillet (without oil). If you have a gas stove, you can roast them over the open burner flame.
I prefer to do it over an open flame. Usually, I use the propane grill. When the skin starts popping and charring on one side, turn the pepper over and repeat. Once they have been around once, I shut off the flame, close the top of the grill and let it sit maybe five minutes.
Okay, what do you do next? Well, some folks say to peel them with your hands under running water. Others say plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Jamie Oliver, "The Naked Chef", recommends you pop them into a zip top plastic bag and let them sit. That seems to work the best for me.

Or, you can skip all that and just seed them if you want to. I like the roasted flavor better.
Once you've got them roasted, you have another decision to make, based mostly on the equipment available. If there's a food processor or blender handy, pop them into that and puree them. You can slice them fine. You can use a mortar and pestle. You can take them outside and pound them with a brick on the sidewalk (just kidding).

Now, the pork. I first made this using the big, thick "country" style pork ribs. I have used pork roast. Price determines my choice more than anything else. If there are bones, take them out. Also, if there are bones, guesstimate their weight when you buy the meat. I trim as much fat as possible.
Put the oil into your stew pan. Heat the onions and garlic slowly until they are clear.
Dump in the meat and brown it. When the meat starts to brown, I usually throw all the dry seasonings in at that point. The meat is coated and the spices get a bit of browning as well. Be careful. We're not going for blackened pork here.
Now, you can throw in the can of tomatoes. Fill up the can with water and pour that into the pot. Bring it to a boil.
Add the potatoes and carrots. Let them cook for about 15 minutes.
Now, add your cans of beans, juice and all. You can cook up the beans, if you wish. I do not know why you would want to do that. However, you are welcome to it. If you've got some leftover, home-cooked beans, I'd certainly use those.
Once the potatoes and carrots are almost done, add the frozen corn. Well, you can add it whenever you want. Waiting might keep the kernels from getting tough.
Serve it up in bowls with tortillas or cornbread.


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