Slow-Cooked Pork in Tequila

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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Serves 6.

Note: I’ve written the recipe as we’ve made it, which used significantly less chiles than the original, which called for 200g. I’ve also included some other notes and clarifications that aren’t in the original.

50g/ 1.7 oz mixed dried chiles (preferably a mix of cascabel, ancho, and jalapeno)
3 TBS of canola oil, duck fat, or lard
1 1/2 lb. pork butt, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 lb. pork ribs, meat cut from bones and diced into 1 inch cubes
sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large white onion, cut into chunks
4 TBS tequila
white rice, to serve
prepared pinto beans, to serve
Michoacan Avocado Salsa, to serve (recipe below)

Boil a pot of water and pour about 3 cups of boiling water over the chiles in a heatproof bowl. Let steep until chiles are soft and water is a deep red, about 15 minutes.
Heat the oil or fat in a large saucepan. Add the pork butt and pork rib meat and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and turning frequently until evenly browned. Season with salt.
Place the chiles, the chile soaking water, the cumin seeds, oregano, garlic, and onion into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Strain into a bowl, then add the sauce to the pork. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and has absorbed most of the sauce. If the sauce begins to look dry at any point, add water.
Add the tequila to the pan and continue to simmer, without the lid, for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice, beans, and avocado salsa.

Michoacan Avocado Salsa

Recipe adapted from Mexico: The Cookbook. Makes about 1 cup.

3 tomatillos, papery husks and stems removed
3 serrano chiles
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
2 TBS finely chopped cilantro
sea salt, to taste

Remove the seeds from 2 of the chiles and the stems from all 3. Put the tomatillos and chiles into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatillos and the chiles to a food processor. Add the garlic to the food processor and process until combined. Add the avocado flesh to the food processor and process until smooth. Stir in the cilantro and season to taste with salt.