Serve this stew with couscous, the perfect sponge for all the flavorful stew juices.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds pork (lamb or goat) shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for coating meat
1 large onion, cut into medium dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into medium dice
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed seeded, and cut into medium dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leave
Pinch each cinnamon, cayenne, and turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste (preferably double concentrated)
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
10 dried black mission figs
2 bay leaves
Adjust oven to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Liberally coat meat chunks with salt, pepper, and cumin. Working in batches if necessary, sear meat, turning only once, until 2 sides form an impressive brown crust, 6 to 8 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate and set aside. Heating a little more oil if necessary, add onions, carrots, and bell pepper; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and then the tomato paste; cook until fragrant, about another minute. Deglaze the pot with the wine.
Return meat to the pot; add broth, figs, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover pan set in oven and cook, adding more liquid if necessary, until meat is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve.