Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Caribbean Style Stew as I Imagine it.

I love aromatic spices and am more fond of pork than I probably should be. These elements meet in a kind of bean stew I make served with rice.

I start with bacon to render out the fat and remove the crisped bacon to set aside. Then a base vegetable blend hits the sizzling bacon fat including fresh ginger slices, an onion, celery and a bell pepper. Once this begins to caramelize, it's time for a blend of clove powder, cumin, cardamom, paprika or pimenton la vera, cinnamon, nutmeg and a minor bit of a cayennish thing.

I have chunks of pork to one side and when the spice blend begins to react to the heat, the pork chunks go in for searing. Once that part is done, I add some canned bean thing, 2 cans. Purists would go with dried beans but canned red, black, pinto or kidney beans work very well.

After a bit of a simmer, I add some green, either spinach, collard or mustard and follow with the more delicate veggies like broccoli. A bit of barbecue sauce, Pickapeppa, or a spoonful of sauce mustard is another phase option.

Fresh garlic, lots, goes in next to last followed by the crisped bacon.

Now the rice is it's own special thing. I like long grain jasmine rice and prepare it with some fat, usually olive oil, butter or chicken fat, lots of turmeric, a bit of salt and maybe saffron.

Then, when it's done, I whisk in fresh chopped cilantro and chopped scallions. An honest cheap red wine works well as a beverage.

It is good poverty food and I hope the US pork industry moves away from its miserable husbandry practices to adopt the free range methods one finds in Spain.