The seasonings were great- definitely use mild jalapenos. There is a sweetness to the cinnamon that makes the peppers more mild. I have served this to kids who have loved it and at several potlucks-- over 8 in fact and all in attendance loved it. I would only add a few more sweet potatoes to the dish. It is even better as leftovers.
Southwestern Pork and Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes mitigate this braise's spicy heat, brought on by the combination of a pickled jalapeño's sour spiciness and the more complex heat of ancho chile powder.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 243
- Calories from fat: 30%
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 2.7g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.6g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
- Protein: 26.4g
- Carbohydrate: 13.6g
- Fiber: 2g
- Cholesterol: 83mg
- Iron: 2mg
- Sodium: 499mg
- Calcium: 32mg
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered (about 7 ounces)
- 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, stemmed
- Cooking spray
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed
- 1 (12-ounce) dark Mexican beer (such as Dos Equis Ambar)
- 1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
- 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1 pound)
- Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor; process 1 minute or until a thick paste forms.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove pork from pan.
- Add chile mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add pork and cinnamon; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until pork is tender.
- Remove pork from pan; shred into large pieces with 2 forks. Stir shredded pork and sweet potato into pan; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard cinnamon stick. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
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