Southwestern Smoked Pork Stew Recipe

This dish was inspired by a soup I had about 15 years ago in a southwestern style restaurant, named South by Southwest.  I believe they called the soup Tumbleweed Stew.

This restaurant’s soup was wonderful; however, it was thin, brothy and lacked, in my opinion, ingredients.  My version is packed with goodies and is more of a stew than soup. 

In a perfect world, I would have preferred to actually have smoked the tenderloin in a smoker, but the time was not available.  I don’t particularly like using liquid smoke; however, if used sparingly, it can be effective to give a dish’s flavor a smoky note.  I have tasted dishes where liquid smoke has been overused, and in my opinion, the dish was ruined.  You only need a hint of this flavor.


Southwestern Smoked Pork Stew

  • 1 2-3 pound pork tenderloin, excess fat and silver skin removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, separated
  • 1/8 teaspoon and 2 teaspoons chili powder, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 48 ounces chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped cilantro
  • 8-inch corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season tenderloin with 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder, coriander, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder.
  3. Heat cast iron skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear tenderloin on all sides until a nice caramelization appears.
  4. Place tenderloin in shallow baking dish. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth out of 48-ounce container, reserving remaining broth, and sprinkle tenderloin with 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke. Cover tenderloin and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and keep warm.
  5. Heat a large 6-quart non-stick stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add olive oil and onion. Saute onion until soft.
  6. Add red, yellow and poblano peppers and saute approximately 2 minutes until soft.
  7. Add minced garlic, black beans, corn and diced tomatoes. Combine thoroughly.
  8. Season vegetables with 1/4 teaspoon coriander, cumin and 2 teaspoons chili powder.
  9. Add remaining chicken broth and water and bring to strong simmer.
  10. Remove tenderloin from baking dish and place on cutting board. Shred meat with two forks or chop with chef’s knife until tenderloin has appearance of pulled pork and add to stew.
  11. Add uncooked rice and simmer until rice is al dente.
  12. Add chopped cilantro and simmer for approximately 10 more minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Place corn tortilla in soup bowl and ladle stew over tortilla as shown in photo.


Rating scale
1 star – Feed it to the dog
2 stars – Surprise your neighbor
3 stars – Definite keeper
4 stars – Looking forward to leftovers
5 stars – Clean plate and nap time! Are there enough ingredients left to make it again soon?
The Chef – 5 Stars
The Lucky Wife – 5 Stars
The Well-Fed Son (4 years old) – 1 Star
The Well-Fed Daughter (14 months old) – 3 Stars

*Rate it yourself in the comments!

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About the Author

Raised in eastern North Carolina, The Chef has always most loved southern cuisine. While working for a top resort just after finishing Culinary School at Johnson and Wales University, when they still had a campus located in Charleston, South Carolina, he began learning about Gullah cuisine and enjoys it as well. He's a family man and country boy at heart, loves hunting and is a big fan of the John Boy and Billy Big Show and the Carolina Panthers.


  1. I made this last night for my family and they loved it!! Thank you for sharing!

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