Chorizo is delicious, but can be filled with nitrates and other mystery ingredients that are best left in the butcher case. In this recipe, the spices create the taste of a smoky chorizo, while leaving out all of questionable additives. The result is a deeply warming, nourishing, and hearty stew that pairs perfectly with the leaves turning.
Serves/Yields: 4, Prep time: 1 hr 40 min, Cooking time: 40 min
1 lb dried corona or gigante beans, soaked overnight
1 pc dried kombu
4 dried New Mexican chiles
3 tsp sea salt, divided
2 tsp Chipotle chile powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp Ancho chile powder
¼ tsp coriander powder
1 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp ghee
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
3 c chicken stock
4 sprigs oregano
1 c baby spinach, tightly packed
¼ c pepitas
¼ bunch cilantro
Drain beans from soaking liquid and place in large pot. Add water until liquid comes 2-3 inches above beans. Add kombu. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1-1½ hours. Taste for doneness. Simmer longer if needed. Beans should be soft and not at all crunchy. Remove kombu, drain, and set aside.
Using a dry pan, heat the dried whole chiles over high heat until they are lightly toasted on each side. They will puff up slightly and smell extremely spicy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Break the chiles into pieces and soak in 1 c water for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 1 tsp sea salt, Chipotle chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, Ancho chile powder and coriander powder in a ramekin. Mix well. In a large bowl, combine ground pork with 2 Tbsp of spice mixture and red wine vinegar. Mix well with hands until incorporated. Shape into 8 meatballs of equal size. Reserve the rest of the spice mixture for the stew.
Remove stems from soaked chiles. Add chiles and soaking liquid to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp ghee over medium-high heat until melted. Add meatballs and brown all over, about 2 min per side. Each meatball should have a nice, golden crust. Set meatballs aside on a plate and reduce heat to medium-low.
Add chopped onions to the pot. As they begin to sweat, scrape the fond off of the bottom of the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent and very fragrant.
Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, until it releases its aroma. Add in cumin and remaining spice mixture. Cook for 1 minute until the onions and garlic are evenly coated and spices are fragrant.
Pour in pureed chile liquid and scrape up any brown bits that remain on the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer 1 minute.
Add in chicken stock, meatballs, oregano and beans. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to low. Simmer 30 minutes.
Remove lid and continue to simmer 10 minutes to reduce liquid.
Remove from heat. Add remaining salt by ½ tsp increments, tasting the liquid as you go. Stop once you’re happy with the taste. Remove oregano stems. Add spinach and stir until wilted.
Serve 2 meatballs with beans and broth. Garnish each serving with a sliced radish, 2 slices of lime, ¼ of an avocado, 1 Tbsp pepitas, and cilantro.
Notes: If you don’t have time to soak your beans, you can substitute 2 cups of your favorite canned beans into this recipe. Be sure to look for brands that use kombu to get a nutritional boost (I like Eden’s beans for this reason). To maximize the nutrition in this dish, also consider using homemade chicken stock instead of packaged stock from the store.
Allergens: Nightshades, Dairy
Source: Inspired by Food52’s “Red Pozole” https://food52.com/recipes/8047-warming-red-pozole and Diane Sanfilippo’s “Chorizo Meatballs” in Practical Paleo.