Joco Diversions

Latin-Style Pork and Potato Casserole should satisfy just about any meat-eating appetite

Updated: 2014-02-26T00:26:28Z

When did meat and potatoes become an edible pejorative?

Urbandictionary.com defines a meat-and-potato man as a “hick” or a “redneck” who won’t eat vegetables.

Country singer Alan Jackson proudly professed his love of well-done meat and fried taters in a ditty that includes the line: It’s just who I am/A meat and potato man.

But a meal of meat and potatoes doesn’t have to be culturally bereft, predictable or unhealthy.

The Star’s Latin-Style Pork and Potato Casserole should satisfy just about any meat-eating appetite. Lean pork and onions are browned, then slow-cooked in a broth flavored with white wine, bay leaf and red pepper flakes.

Today’s pork is 50 percent leaner than the pork of the 1950s, according to “Field Guide to Meat” by Aliza Green. To keep lean pork chops from drying out, many cookbooks recommend brining. But a better cooking option for anyone salt-sensitive is to cook the meat in a flavorful braising liquid.

Cooking tip: Cast iron is the perfect stovetop-to-oven cookware for this recipe. Make sure the skillet you choose has a tight-fitting lid.

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