One of the best reasons why I love living in Phoenix is our easy access to terrific Mexican ingredients. This an easy way to make a load of grub for very little money. Cheap cut of pork, some dried peppers and a blender. You can use the finished product as a filling for enchiladas, burritos or tamales.
* note. Pasilla Chilies have a wonderful smokey sweetness but if you can't find them where you are by all means use another kind. You might discover something new and wonderful on your own.
CHEF NICK'S PULLED PORK
Mise en place
3 1/2 pound pork chuck roast, season with salt and pepper
1 large white onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 good sized jalapeno pepper, chopped with seeds.
1 can spicy mexican style tomato sauce with the initials "E" and "P". Rhymes with "tell fato".
3-4 dried pasilla chilies
1 small can black beans, rinsed. (ok yeah I used canned, get over it)
2 chipotle (the canned kind)
pinch ground cinnamon
juice of one lime
1/2 cup white vinegar. NOT white wine vinegar, the kind you use to clean windows...yeah that kind.
grated lime peel
cilantro, use the leaves for garnish and use the stems for the sauce.
small bowl of hot water
large baking pan
the idea is to make the whole house smell so good that your neighbors come by.
Carefully remove the stems and shake out the seeds from your dried chilies.
Turn up the heat under your smallest saute pan and toast them on both sides. If you can smell the yummy and they feel pliable to touch you are done. Immediately throw into the bowl of hot water and place a small saucer over to hold them under, they need to hydrate and soften. This will take about 20 minutes. In the mean time let's talk pork.
With clean hands, rub salt and black pepper onto all sides. Heat up a large saute pan over high heat with a little oil and sear the roast on all sides. By sear I don't mean grey. The easiest way to tell if you have a good sear is to try and pick it up off the pan surface. If it sticks, it ain't done. Put the roast into your baking pan. Cover with the sliced onion, bell pepper and bay leaf.
It's blender time.
In the blender dump in your can of mexican tomato sauce, 1/2 cup white vinegar, dried oregano, jalapeno, garlic cloves, cilantro stems, cinnamon, chipotle, big pinch of salt and pepper and your now softened chilies with a little of the water. Let 'er rip. Once pureed, dump over roast. Add your rinsed beans, just kinda smoosh it around.
Cover loosely with foil and place in a 325 degree oven for about 4-5 hours. We have a lot of connective tissue and fat to cook down and the best way to render that and maximize flavor is by using a long slow cooking method. Trust me, your house will smell fantastic. Check every once in a while and scoop up some of the yummy from the bottom back on top.
Once done, remove from oven and see if you can shred it easily. If you can't, just place it back in the oven for a little while longer.
Today I just fried up some corn tortillas, added shredded lettuce and tomato to make tostadas. Easy right?
Now go get your grub on, Ciao.