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Set Your Palate Ablaze With This Fiery Pork Stew

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HangingPeppersAfrican Fire Pork Stew

Two types of chiles, garlic and ginger add heat to this savory stew. Pork, peanuts, tomatoes and sweet potatoes add a variety of textures as well as flavors. The heat will intensify over night, making leftovers a real treat  for hot heads.

12 small dried red chiles, like chiles de arbol
3 pounds pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and tendon, cut in 1-inch pieces (about   3 cups chopped pork meat)
2 large onions, cut in large dice
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 jalapeños, seeded, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup peanut oil
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
5 cups beef broth or stock
3 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes or 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Cover the dried chiles in boiling water and soak for 2 to 3 hours or until they are soft. Drain and coarsely chop. Set aside until needed.

Cook the pork, onions, garlic and jalapeños in the peanut oil over high heat for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring all the while. Add the ginger, paprika, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, allspice and brown sugar, and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tomatoes, peanuts and reserved chiles, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 1 hour, stirring from time to time.

Add the sweet potatoes and vinegar, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the meat and potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley to taste.

Makes 6 servings.

From “Hot, Hotter, Hottest” by Janet Hazen

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