Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cumin, and Chipotle

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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1 boneless shoulder, about 3 pounds, rolled and tied
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 dried chipotle chiles
2 bay leaves
5 whole cloves
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups of beef stock
4 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and ground
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pat the pork dry with a paper towel and season it with salt and pepper. Let it stand at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Put the chipotles, bay leaves and cloves in the center of a cheesecloth square, gather the ends and secure with kitchen twine. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning as needed for about 3 minutes per side, or until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Discard any excess oil from the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil over low heat. Add the onion, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook uncovered for about a minute. Stir in the stock, tomatoes and cumin. Add the pork and spice bundle. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Cover and place in the oven. Bake, turning once or twice, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Skim away any fat from the top of the sauce and discard. Add the oregano and cinnamon and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the liquid is reduced and begins to thicken. Remove and discard the spice bundle. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut the pork across the grain into thin slices and add to the sauce. Spoon the sauce gently over the meat before serving.

Recipe is from Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill.