Spring is finally here and that means more and more dinners outside, long evenings with friends drinking wine on the patio, and big get-togethers with friends where the eating seems to go on forever. One of my favorite things to cook for these long days outside is a pot of chile pork. This would make a fantastic dish for the fall or winter too, but in the spring you make it, it sits on the stove, and your guests can keep coming back to it.
1 Pork Shoulder with bone in (2-3 lbs)
2 diced onions
3 diced garlic
3 tomatoes cut into quarters
2 teaspoons cumin
Water to cover pork shoulder
7-8 dried red New Mexico chiles (if you can’t find these use guajillo)
5-6 dried Morita chiles
Heat up a large pot or dutch oven cover the bottom with olive oil. Put onion and garlic into the pot to cook and release flavor. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Then put the pork shoulder into the pot, browning on all sides. Once the shoulder is brown on all sides add tomatoes, cumin, salt and cover the pork shoulder with water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium low heat, on a low simmer. This will cook on the stove for 4-6 hours and is ready when the meat easily falls off the bone. You can also put all of these ingredients in a crock-pot all day and forget about it until dinner. The effect will be much the same.
Once the meat is finished cooking you can strain most of the delicious pork broth out of the pan to be used in making the sauce (you will most likely have leftover after you make the sauce. It is fantastic in rice, or used later in a soup. I recommend saving it by freezing it in the fridge). You can then shred the pork in the pot, removing any bits of bone.
To make the sauce you will heat up the chiles on a flat pan on medium heat. You are not looking to burn them. They shouldn’t change colors. The point is to heat up their skins so they release flavor. Once this is done you can then de-seed the pods and cut up the skins in large chunks. Put the chunks of chile in a sauté over medium heat with some of the pork broth (approximately 2-3 cups) and heat until chiles soften. Then blend the mixture together in a blender until smooth. Pour the chile mixture into the shredded pork. Mix together well. Turn back on a low simmer and salt to taste.