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Cinco de Mayo by way of the Netherlands

How to make Mexican stew in a Dutch oven

May 2024

story courtesy of Family Features

Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held on May 5 to celebrate Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Los Angeles Latinos first celebrated it in 1863. Since then, the holiday has become very popular throughout the U.S., where it has become associated with the celebration of Mexican American culture and Mexican food.

Whether Cinco de Mayo means an opportunity to celebrate your own family’s heritage or it’s simply an excuse to gather with friends and family, every holiday truly is about the same thing: special moments together. While those treasured times at the table revolve around camaraderie and conversation, it can start with a delicious meal, such as Mexican Cactus Pork Stew.

This recipe makes Cinco de Mayo a cinch with the help of an item from the Netherlands, a Dutch oven. Just brown fresh pork shoulder in the Dutch oven and combine with onion and jalapeño for the right mixture of flavor and spice. Once the pork is cooked, add broth, beans, spices, seasonings and, if you’re daring, a cup of chopped cactus for a southwestern spin.

Mexican Cactus Pork Stew

recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”


  • 1 lb. pork shoulder (leftover or fresh)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) mild chili beans
  • 1 cup chopped edible nopales cactus (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 green onions, chopped, for garnish
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions: If using fresh pork, in Dutch oven, cube and brown it with onion and jalapeño pepper. If using leftover pork, reheat in Dutch oven with onion and jalapeño pepper. Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, chili beans, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, edible nopales cactus, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 25 minutes then garnish with green onions and cilantro.