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