Puerco en Asado (Mexican Pork Stew)

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Puerco en Asado (Mexican Pork Stew)
  1. Combine pork cubes, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until water evaporates. Continue cooking until the pork browns in its rendered fat, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cut tops off the dried chiles and remove seeds. Heat chiles in a large skillet over low heat until they start to soften. Do not toast. Place chiles in a bowl of hot water and soak for 20 minutes.

  3. Remove pork and set aside. Do not wash, wipe out, or clean the Dutch oven.

  4. Transfer chiles to a blender, reserving soaking water. Add cilantro, chicken bouillon, peppercorns, garlic, cinnamon stick, Mexican oregano, thyme, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cloves. Pour in 1 cup soaking water and blend until smooth. Add 1 more cup soaking water, season with salt, and blend until completely smooth.

  5. Melt lard in the Dutch oven. Carefully add blended chile mixture and scrape up all browned bits. Bring to a boil and add pork. Reduce heat and cover partially, leaving about 1 inch open. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and reaches the desired consistency, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook’s Notes:

Cooking pork shoulder with this method ensures that the pork will not dry out.

Be very careful when adding chile mixture back into Dutch oven. Mixture tends to splatter.

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