Listening to the rain fall Saturday morning brought thoughts of comfort food. Something spicy and a little sweet would taste great on a crisp, fall evening, so I decided to make a Cuban-style stew in my slow cooker.

As the stew started to cook, the rich aromas filled my house and reminded me of a trip I took to Miami a few years ago where Cuban cooking is king.

If you’ve never had an authentic Cuban sandwich served with plantain chips, you should.

While this recipe isn’t as traditionally Cuban as others I’ve tried, I enjoy its simplicity, and it’s ability to fill me up without adding too many extra calories. The lean pork loin is hearty and healthier than some other cuts of pork.

Saturday, I wanted comfort food, so I served the stew over a bed of brown rice to make it heartier.

With the leftovers, I’ll go lighter, serving it with a nice salad of spinach, black beans and homemade pico de gallo with some fresh-squeezed lime juice to top it off.

Enjoy this dish on the next rainy, fall day or anytime you want a little Latin flavor on your plate.

Cuban-style pork & sweet potato stew


  • 1 pound raw sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pound raw lean pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 14½ ounces canned diced tomatoes, with green chiles
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup unsweetened
  • orange juice
  • 2 medium raw scallions, chopped (green parts only)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro, fresh, chopped


  • Place potatoes, pork, tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, scallions, salt, cumin and pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for seven hours.
  • Stir in lime juice and cilantro; cover slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

Serves: 4, about 1½ cups per serving.

Nutrition per serving: 233 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 48mg cholesterol, 30g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 7g sugar, 23g protein.

Notes: For non-pork eaters out there, the stew also can be made with chicken. A vegetarian friend of mine tried it with extra firm tofu once, crisping the squares on the stovetop before adding them to the slow cooker so the tofu wouldn’t soak up all the liquid.

 — Adapted from

News/Design Editor M. Clare Haefner enjoys cooking for family and friends. Contact her at or (254) 501-7551.

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