I am very systematic about planning dinners for the week. Each Saturday I create the list of meals I intend to make during the week, Sunday is spent grocery shopping, and by Wednesday, I realize that I forgot to defrost something critical for that night’s dinner. (It may be hard to believe, but I plan things professionally.) This order is consistent. What else is consistent? My husband’s constant request for Spicy Slow Cooked Pork with Peppers. This is a favorite in our house, perfect for a lazy Sundayafternoon when you have the time to for slow cooking. This recipe has been modified and adjusted over the years, and was originally inspired by a post on Chowhound that I found and lost years ago. I have made and shared this recipe so many times that I was surprised to realize that I haven’t shared it with you yet. Even better, this makes enough food that you can have it again for dinner on Wednesday, or whenever you need that emergency dinner. (I know it is hard to believe, but I plan things professionally.)
Have you ever cooked with dried peppers before? I saw them in grocery stores for years before becoming brave enough to try them. This recipe calls for the basics: gaujillo and pasilla chilies. Guajillo chilies are moderately hot and have a flavor that you will find surprisingly familiar. They feel thicker than most other dried chilies. Pasilla chilies look wrinkly and have a bit of sweetness to them. Toast them lightly in a dry pan to bring out their flavor – you can tell they are done when you can smell them. I re-hydrate the peppers with a combination of orange juice and beer. Note – the picture has a reddish tone because I accidentally pulled a blood orange from the fruit bowl. Store bought OJ works just fine.
You can make this dish really hot, if that’s your style. Add a couple extra peppers, an extra chipotle in adobo, or even sliced jalapenos and poblanos. Before Z, I used to add loads of poblanos. But these days, we need to tame the heat in our cooking.
This dish is extremely versatile, which is a good thing when you are starting with 5 lbs of pork. We usually serve it as a taco filling, either with Pickled Veggies or just cilantro and onion. My husband will happily eat bowls of it like chili. It even works as part of a taco salad. My sister even likes it on nachos.
|Spicy Slow Cooked Pork With Peppers|| |
- 5 lbs pork shoulder, cut into cubes and trimmed of large chunks of fat
- oil for browning pork
- 2 gaujillo chilies
- 2 pasilla chilies
- 6 oz beer - no need to get fancy
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 chipotle in adobo
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 1 giant onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers, sliced thin
- jalapenos and/or poblano peppers, thinly sliced - optional
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Heat a large pan and add the dried peppers. Flip them every 30 seconds until they become fragrant - 2 to 3 times. Turn off the heat and remove the peppers from the pan.
- Carefully remove the tops of the peppers and shake out seeds. Tear the peppers into pieces, continuing to shake out the seeds.
- Add pepper pieces, beer and orange juice to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until the peppers soften, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.
- Fill the base of a large pan with the sliced onions and bell peppers (poblanos and jalapenos too, if you are using them.) I use a lasagna pan.
- Brown small batches of the pork in a large pan using whatever oil is needed. A large non-stick pan is preferable. As each batch is completed, place the pork on top of the onions and peppers.
- Use a blender or food processor to mix the pepper mixture, chipotles and sauce, cumin and salt. Pour mixture over pork, onions and peppers.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours.
- Pork should be fork tender, and the pan will be filled with juice.
- Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid is gone.