Braised Pork with Chiles

We blog about this recipe here.

Braised Pork with Chiles

This makes a LOT, but I think the recipe would work fine with a 2 lb roast, with a somewhat-reduced cooking time.  Also, chicken legs can be substituted for the pork. Recipe very slightly adapted from Samin Nosrat and SaltFatAcidHeat
  • about 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder roast, salted in advance with 1 tsp salt per pound of meat
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, sliced “through the equator”
  • 2 c crushed tomatoes in their juice, fresh or canned
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T smoked paprika (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 dried chiles, such as Guajillo, New Mexico, Anaheim, or Ancho, stemmed, seeded and rinsed
  • 2-3 cups lager or pilsner beer
  • for garnish (which we think is essential): chopped cilantro, Mexican crema (or yogurt or sour cream) and slices of lime

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Set an oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When it’s warm, add the vegetable oil.  When the oil shimmers, place the pork in the pan.  Brown it evenly on all 4 sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.

When the meat is brown, remove it and set it aside.  Remove all but a couple of tablespoons of fat from the pan.  Return the pan to the stove, reduce the heat to medium.  Cook the onions and garlic until they are tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and juice, cumin, paprika, bay leaves, and dried chilies into the pot and stir.  Place the pork atop the aromatic base, and add enough beer to come 1½ inches up the sides of the meat.  Make sure the peppers and bay leaves are mostly immersed in the juices so that they do not burn.

Increase heat and bring to a boil, then put the pot, uncovered, into the oven.  About every 30 minutes, turn the pork over and check the level of the liquid, adding more beer as needed. Cook until the meat is tender and falls apart at the touch of a fork, 3½ to 4 hours. (Note: if you’re using chicken, cook until the meat falls off the bone; it will be a much shorter time than for the pork.)

Remove the cooked pork from the oven and carefully remove it from the pan.  Strain the cooking liquid and aromatics through a large-hole strainer, pressing on them to remove as much juice as possible.  Skim the fat from the liquid (or better yet, refrigerate it until the fat has come to the top, then skim it);

Shred the meat – and combine it with the sauce  – and use it for pork burritos or tacos (add some slivered cabbage, diced onion, hot sauce and lime) or serve the pork and sauce over rice, adding a little beer if more liquid is needed.  Garnish as suggested.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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