Asado de Puerco
Pork Roasted in Chiles
from Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert
by Melissa Guerra
1/2 pound dried ancho chiles
4 pounds bone-in country style pork ribs
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch ground cloves
2 TBSP salt
1 head garlic, unpeeled
2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 stick cinnamon
2 TBSP cider vinegar
Prepare the Chiles For Pureeing
Always use a large cooking vessel for rendering chiles, as the dried peppers have a tendency to float and jump out of the pot if the water level is too high. In an 8-quart stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the chiles. When the water returns to a boil, partially cover and boil for 30 minutes.The chiles are ready when they are soft and have changed from a raisin color to dark red. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Using rubber gloves, remove the stems, seeds, and veins. Put the chiles in a blender. Add about 1 cup of water to facilitate blending and puree. Don't worry about being precise with the amount of water. Pour the puree into a mesh strainer to remove any seeds or skin particles and discard the seed pulp.
Preheat the oven to 350 F, and position a rack in the lower third of the oven to accommodate a large casserole. Heat a 6-quart lidded Dutch oven or other oven-proof casserole over medium heat. Add the pork in 2 batches and brown each batch on both sides, about 10 minutes per batch. As the pork begins to render its fat, add the onion to brown as well.
Add the chile puree, pepper, cloves, salt, whole head of garlic, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to distribute the seasonings. Cover, place in the oven, and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The asado is ready when the meat is tender, pulling away from the bone, and permeated with the flavor and color of the thickened ancho chile sauce.
Notes: This is by far one of the most time-consuming recipes I have ever tried. I would really love to know if there was some trick to getting the seeds out of the boiled peppers because that took simply an age. However, it was more than worth it. Many thanks to those who procured the peppers for me so I could make this attempt.Posted by Jennifer at February 25, 2007 7:43 PM | TrackBack