*Photo Updated January 2012*
Inspiration: Brandon and I don’t really need many reasons to make a nice Mexican supper. When it comes to Mexican food, I think we could happily eat it every day. Especially Rick Bayless’ Mexican food.
What we Loved: The sauce in this dish has a really unique and smoky flavor, almost like a rich mole sauce. I was surprised with the complexity, given that the ingredient list isn’t very long, but I think that the particular peppers that are used really just have layers and layers of flavor. After we toasted the peppers to make the sauce, the rich aromas in the kitchen were amazing, and they carried through right into the meal. Brandon and I both thought that the cilantro garnish really added a fresh and crisp citrusy flavor to the dish that was really the finishing touch.
Helpful Hints: Having a wonderful husband to prepare this dish while you work on making some soup for lunches is helpful indeed.
Also…I searched for New Mexico chiles for a while and finally stumbled upon them at a local market, but I’d say to definitely hunt for them if you’re going to make this dish. I tried to make it with different red peppers (ancho?), and while that dish was very good, it wasn’t anything similar to this dish. The sauce was savory and spicy, almost like that of a pork stew, while the sauce using the New Mexico chiles really turned out quite similar to a rich mole.
Carne con Chile Colorado
Source: Rick Bayless
2 lbs pork shoulder, cubed
8 dried New Mexico chiles
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, as needed
Water, as needed
Cilantro, to garnish
1. Remove the stems, veins, and seeds from the chiles. Break the chiles into large pieces.
2. Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the chiles and cook until they just start to turn color, pressing down occasionally with a spatula. Flip the chiles, and repeat on the second side.
3. Remove the chiles into a shallow bowl. Cover with water, and top with a small plate to weigh down the chiles. Let the chiles soak for 30 minutes. Remove the chiles from the water, reserving one cup of the water.
4. Put the chiles in a food processor with the onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, and the cup of chile water. Puree until smooth.
5. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper. Add the pork cubes in batches to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes to form a brown crust. Flip, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Remove the cooked meat from the pan and add the next batch. Make sure to work in batches so that the pan is not overcrowded, which will prevent the meat from forming a nice crust.
6. Add all of the meat back into the pan. Add the red chili sauce, using it to deglaze the pan while scraping the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
7. Add about 2 cups of water to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 1 hour. If the sauce is too thin at this point, remove the lid and increase the heat. Cook uncovered until the sauce is the desired consistency.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Serve garnished with cilantro.