Asado de Puerco (Pork Stew)

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.

Asado de Puerco (Pork Stew)
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil or lard

  • 4 dried ancho peppers

  • 4 dried guajillo peppers

  • 2 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 1/2-inch stick Mexican cinnamon or cinnamon

  • 8 black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or marjoram, crushed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 whole cloves

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • of an avocado pit (optional)*

  • Salt, to taste

  • Rice and/or warm corn tortillas

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 (per serving)

261 Calories
11g Fat
5g Carbs
35g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 261
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 280mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 2.2mg 11%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 2.4mg 13%
Potassium 717mg 15%
Folate, total 4.6mcg
Vitamin B-12 1.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 1.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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