Chile Braised Pork

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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2 pounds meaty pork spareribs, chopped into 2″ lengths
1-2 tsp. salt or to taste
4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 cups hot pork or chicken stock, preferably homemade
5 garlic cloves
5 cloves

Season the spareribs with about 1-1/2 tsp. of the salt. Pour 1 cup boiling water into a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized Dutch oven or saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the meat and reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes, start checking carefully until the last of the water boils off. At this stage the meat will begin to render out some of its fat. Keep cooking, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until it is literally frying in its own fat, about 5-10 minutes longer. It should be deep golden but not over-browned.

As soon as youve started the meat, begin the chile sauce. Rinse and griddle-dry the chiles, then place them in a medium-sized bowl and cover with hot stock. Let them sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, roast and peel the garlic; set aside. Place a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the cloves, toasting until fragrant and aromatic, about 1 minute. Grind the cloves using a mortar and pestle. Place the chiles and their soaking liquid in a blender along with the garlic and cloves. Puree very thoroughly and pour over the browning spareribs in the pan. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for another 20 minutes or until the ribs are very tender. Taste for salt and add a little if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from Chile Pepper Magazine.