Most braised pork dishes cook for hours. This one is done in a fraction of the time, but you'd never guess it once you taste the rich, dried-chile sauce.

Mely Martinez
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

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Credit: Carson Downing

Recipe Summary test

hands-on:
20 mins
total:
1 hr 45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
4 cups
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place pork in a large stockpot and add enough water to cover meat. Cook over medium-high until meat is tender and water has evaporated, 45 to 60 minutes. (If meat isn't tender, add more water, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue cooking, checking every 15 minutes.) Add the vegetable oil and continue cooking until meat is slightly browned, about 5 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet or comal (a flat griddle) over medium-high. Slice open the anchos and guajillos; seed and devein. Slightly toast 30 to 40 seconds on each side, being careful not to burn them (burned chiles will make the dish taste bitter). Place toasted chiles in a bowl; add enough hot water to cover. Soak 20 minutes; drain.

  • In a blender combine 3/4 cup water,* half of the chiles, the vinegar, garlic, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, oregano, bay leaves, cloves, cumin seeds, thyme, and, if using, the avocado pit. Cover; blend at least 1 minute or until smooth. Add an additional 1/2 cup water; blend. Add the remaining chiles, a little at a time; blend until smooth, adding more water as needed.

  • Strain sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into the pot with pork. Cook over medium 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add more water as needed and season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Keep heating and stirring until sauce thickens to the consistency of thick gravy, about 15 minutes. Serve with rice and/or corn tortillas. Serves 6.

*

Mely adds a small piece of avocado pit to this dish's blended sauce. "I find it thickens the sauce a bit, and some people think it helps temper acidity," she says. We tested with and without the pit with equally delicious results.

Tips

If you have a high-performance blender, blend the sauce all at once, adding 2 cups water with the toasted chiles and spices.

Nutrition Facts

261 calories; fat 11g; cholesterol 91mg; saturated fat 2g; carbohydrates 5g; mono fat 3g; poly fat 4g; insoluble fiber 1g; protein 35g; vitamin a 1467.4IU; vitamin c 2.2mg; thiamin 1mg; riboflavin 0.9mg; niacin equivalents 15mg; vitamin b6 1.3mg; folate 4.6mcg; vitamin b12 1.3mcg; sodium 280mg; potassium 717mg; calcium 24mg; iron 2.4mg.
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