To prepare the meat, bring the water to a boil in a large stock pot. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pork and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 15 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the meat to cool in the broth until lukewarm. Remove the meats and vegetables from the broth. Reserve the broth. Slice the meat thinly and, if you wish, bone the chicken breasts. Place the meats and vegetables in a large cazuela or ovenproof casserole and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
To prepare the stew, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the yams, pineapple, and plantains in a ovenproof dish large enough to hold them. Roast them for 1 hour, then peel the yams and plantains and cut them into chunks. Set them aside.
Remove the veins and seeds of the chiles and wipe them clean. Soak them in hot water for 25 minutes and drain. In a blender, puree the chiles, pine nuts, garlic, tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, oregano, and cumin with a little of the soaking liquid.
In a large saucepan, over a medium high heat, heat the oil. Pour in the chile mixture a little at a time. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook 5 minutes or until the mixture changes color and thickens. Add the reserved broth from the meats and simmer until slightly thickened. Add the thickened sauce to the reserved cazuela with the sliced pork and chicken breasts. Bake for 20 minutes. Add the yams, pineapple, plantain, apples, and prunes. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve piping hot from the cazuela, accompanied by freshly made tortillas and Arroz Blanco.
The Original Manchamanteles (Stew that Stains the Tablecoth):
Take some ripe tomatoes, and remove the seeds. Grind them with soaked toasted dry chiles, cinnamon and pepper. After grinding, fry in lard, mix with warm water, add the chickens or pork, cooked sausages, olives, vinegar, salt, a lump of sugar, yams or peanuts.
Pour hot water over the rice and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse well in cold water. Let the rice drain for a few minutes.
In a medium size saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over a medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring constantly. Add the rice and cook just until the grains are coated with the oil.
Add the water and cook, uncovered, over a medium heat until the liquid has been absorbed and small air holes appear on the top of the rice. Do not stir.
Wrap the lid of the saucepan with a small terry cloth dish towel. Place the lid tightly over the saucepan so that none of the steam can escape. Set aside in a warm place for about 20 to 30 minutes, so that the rice can continue to cook and the grains expand.
Stir the rice well before serving.
Copyright 1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved