Chili Braised Pork with Sweet Potato Mash and Green Beans

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Alas! After months of hiatus, I have returned to my quaint cooking blog. I have missed blogging so much, but between my final semester of school and student teaching, it has been the furthest thing from my mind. This week will hopefully be my last week of unemployment 🙂 and to celebrate that I thought I’d cook a week of amazing meals.

This week’s grocery list and menu is brought to us by Martha Stewart. Now Martha claims that these are $10 dinners, and maybe that’s true, but in the lovely DC area I doubled her suggested budget. It’s possible that I could have spent less had I been equipped with my staple pantry but most of it still resides in Richmond. I am hoping to get the rest of my things this week!

The first meal on the list is chili braised pork with sweet potatoes and green beans. Yum.

I rarely cook with pork, and never with the cut used in this recipe, but I am glad I went outside my comfort zone. It’s also a fairly inexpensive cut and commonly found at grocery stores. The bill for this meal was about $15.

The grocery list:

1 1/2 lbs Boneless Country-Style Pork Ribs (about 5 ribs)

S&P

1/2 t of Chili Powder

1 3/4 c of Chicken Broth

3 T All Purpose Flour

4 t Olive Oil

2 large Yams

1/2 c Sour Cream

2 t White Sugar

3 cloves of Garlic

1 lbs Green Beans

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Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the pork ribs while the oil heats up.

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When you can start to smell the oil, put the ribs in. Give each their own space. Leave them for about 3 minutes to get a nice bottom crust. Then turn about every 2 minutes to brown each side. About 7 minutes total time.

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While the pork is browning, mix 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder in a bowl.

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Add the liquid after 7 minutes of browning. Bring to a boil in the medium high pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan. The sauce should continue to bubble and the pork will begin to steam.

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Leave the pan for about 30 minutes. I uncovered halfway to whisk up the sauce and grab the bits that were stuck to the pan.

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Peel and chop the sweet potatoes in 1 inch pieces. Set out the sour cream so it can come to room temperature – for later!

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Wash the green beans and trim the ends. Set them aside for later. They cook in about 6 minutes, you can do this during the last 10 minutes of the pork’s cooking time.

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About 20 minutes into the pork, start the potatoes. Bring them to a boil in a salty bath then reduce the heat to an aggressive simmer. The potatoes should take about 20 minutes, check at 15 for fork tenderness.

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After a 30 steam, uncover the pan and let the pork continue to cook on medium high heat uncovered for 20 minutes. This will let the sauce thicken up and give the pork more time to become beautifully tender.

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When the yams are cooked, strain them and return to the pan. Mash them until they are almost smooth and release most of the steam before adding sour cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Continue to mash until the potatoes are smooth. Whip in salt and pepper as desired, keep tasting it! If they taste too sour add another teaspoon of sugar or increase the salt. Keep the potatoes warm over low heat while the meal finishes.

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Heat up 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Chop up 3 cloves of garlic while it heats up.

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This was where I got crafty. 🙂 My pans are in Richmond so I was short a skillet. I used my Christmas present and it worked out just fine! I do recommend a skillet though.

Add the garlic to the hot oil and cook for 30 seconds.

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Add the green beans and 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and cover for 3 minutes. My beans barely fit! I made it work by giving them another minute of steaming.

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Uncover and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring the beans frequently. They are done when most of the water has evaporated and have a crisp outer but tender inside.

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Add finishing touches by spooning lots of sauce over your pork rib and sprinkling some chili powder over your yams. 🙂

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