Time: 3 3/4 hours. Tacolicious, a taco stand at San Francisco's Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, serves this braised pork in tacos, but owner Joe Hargrave also makes it at home as a fall stew. The chiles fall apart as the dish cooks, giving the meat a mellow, earthy spiciness.
2 large dried chipotle chiles*
2 large dried ancho chiles*
12 ounces Mexican lager such as Tecate
1/4 cup white (silver) tequila
3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-in. cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 pound tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano*
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Accompaniments: cabbage and cilantro slaw with lime vinaigrette, lime wedges, crumbled cotija cheese, and tortilla chips
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Wipe chiles clean with a damp cloth. In a dry, heavy saucepan over medium heat, toast chiles until fragrant and puffy, turning occasionally to keep them from burning, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Pour beer and tequila over chiles to soften.
Meanwhile, season pork with salt. Heat oil in a heavy, large ovenproof pot such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown half the pork at a time, turning as needed, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer browned pork to a bowl.
Add onion and garlic to pot; cook until soft, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in beer mixture, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, and pork. Add water if needed to barely cover pork. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover.
Bake stew until pork is falling-apart tender, 3 hours. Skim fat. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with accompaniments.
*Find in the Latino foods aisle or spice aisle of a supermarket, or at a Latino market.
Have made this 3 times now, and I'm very pleased with the result. First time i followed the recipe, second time I omitted the tequila, third time I used tomatillos instead of the tomatoes. I liked the last version the best. Great, deep, earthy flavor, not too picante. Now a family favorite :)
This recipe was one of three in a Sunset Mexican flavors feature that we tried. The other two were lamb shanks braised in adobo and a beef in a cola and peppers braise. We thought both of those were very good. But this one, not so much. We love Mexican flavors and the heat of chili spice, but this one seemed too hot and the flavors, even with the tequila (one of our favorite adds) for flavor profile kick just didn't do it for us. Easy to make for sure and not a bad recipe, just not our taste.