Pork Braised with Ancho Chiles
Monterrey's asado is similar to the stewlike carne adovada of Texas and New Mexico. This version is from Mirador.
Yield: serves 4
- 2 Tbsp. lard
- 2 1⁄2 lb. "country style" pork ribs, boned, with meat cut into pieces about 11/2" x 3"
- 5 ancho chiles
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 wide strip orange zest
- Melt lard in a 9" cazuela or a wide medium pan over medium heat. Spread pork out in cazuela or pan and generously season with salt. Cook pork until liquid evaporates and meat begins to brown, about 40 minutes, then continue cooking pork until golden brown all over, stirring and turning meat as necessary, 30–45 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, put chiles into a medium bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside to let soak until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes. Drain chiles, then remove and discard stems and seeds. Put chiles, garlic, cumin, and 1 cup of water into a blender and purée.
- Add chile sauce, 3 cups water, bay leaves, and orange zest to pork and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping any browned bits stuck to bottom of cazuela or pan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and braise until meat is very tender and sauce has thickened, 1 1⁄2-2 hours. Adjust seasonings. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving. Reserve some of the deep-orange fat resting on top of the stew to spoon over refried beans with "venom", if you like.