Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pork with Zucchini and Corn Stew / Calabacitas Con Puerco y Elote

pork and zucchini

Right now during the summertime, I’m taking as much advantage as I can of the seasonal vegetables available, like corn, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and many herbs. This recipe can be slightly different from the version you’ve tried at tex-mex restaurants. What follows is just a basic recipe that I adjust depending on my mood or what ingredients I have on hand. For example, I might substitute serranos for jalapeños, or fresh corn for frozen corn (when not in season). Also, instead of stewing the meat, I might decide to brown it first and then slowly simmer it with the rest of the ingredients. It’s a great family meal that will please almost everyone.

This is a very beloved dish in many homes in Mexico, somehow this combination of pork with the vegetables makes for a memorable meal.  In Mexico, squash and zucchini are used in many soups, stews and other types of dishes. Either squash or zucchini will work fine for this recipe.The name in Spanish for this dish is “Calabacitas con Puerco y Elote”. You can also find it without the corn, and cooked in a green or red sauce.

It is usually served with a side of rice, and (obviously) a good amount of warm tortillas to scoop out the sauce with.

  • 1 LB. Pork Roast or stew meat, trimmed of fat, cut in 1 in. cubes*
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil **
  • 1 cup white or red onion, diced (About 1/2 medium onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, diced
  • 1 cup of fresh corn kernels (1 fresh corn in the cob)
  • 2 cups of zucchini or squash, cut in 1/2 in cubes. (About 2 medium sizes)
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced.  (About 2 1/2 cups, diced)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small branch of cilantro.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
calabacitas con puerco6A
  • *You can substitute the pork meat for chicken in this recipe.
  • **If the pork meat renders some fat, use 2 tablespoons of that fat instead of the vegetable oil, and remove the excess.
  • Some cooks season this stew with oregano. Others will prefer Epazote or Mexican Mint instead of the cilantro.

1. Place meat in a large skillet with one cup of water and the bay leaf. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

2. If there’s any broth left from the meat, set aside and reserve to add later on. Add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil** and sauté the meat in medium-high heat until slight browned. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the pan. About 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasional until they soften, for about 3 minutes. Add corn and cook for another 3 minutes. Add squash or zucchini, toss well, and cook for about 5 more minutes.

calabacitas con puerco10A 4. Stir in the tomatoes and any leftover cooking broth. Stir in the cilantro and ground cumin.

calabacitas con puerco1aA

5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until pork and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve with rice and warm tortillas.

What is your favorite childhood meal?


  1. looks super yummy , but what can i put instead of corn?

    1. Hi Melissa, you can skip the corn is you don't have fresh available.

  2. Looking forward to spring. Gotta try this with fresh veggies.

  3. I just made this and it tastes amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe :)

  4. I like your website. This recipe looks very similar to my mom's way to cook this dish. I was hoping to share it with a friend who speaks spanish, but I can't find it on your website. Do you mind sending me the link?

    1. Hello Lynda,

      I will post the spanish version this week. Thank you for sharing the recipes.

  5. I made this for my family last night and it was really delicious.


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