Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chilorio - not your local Tex Mex

This dish comes from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, on Mexico's west coast - the most famous town in it being Mazatlán. Thence comes Chilorio, part carnitas and part flavorful chile sauce. You can make the chile sauce as described below, or you can use my regular version. If you use this one, add some hot sauce to the mix as it is quite mild.

When distilled to simplest terms, it is long-braised pork infused in a chile sauce. As such in reality you can use whatever flavors you like in cooking the pork, and whatever mix of chiles you like in the chile sauce. Here is a pretty good start!

2.5 - 3  lb         pork butt (shoulder), cut into 2-3” chunks
1          cup      orange juice
1/2       cup      vinegar
1          cup      water , plus enough to cover eat
1          tsp       salt
4          ea         ancho chiles, dried
1          ea         chipotle pepper plus ½ tsp adobo sauce
6          ea         pasilla chiles, dried
6          ea         guajillo chiles, dried
6          clove    garlic
1/2       tsp       cumin
1          tsp       oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4       cup      parsley
1          tsp       black pepper
1          cup      chile soaking liquid
1/2       tsp       ground coriander
1/2       cup      fat; can be oil but lard or bacon fat preferred
1          ea         medium onion, julienned


Cut the meat up and rinse well.  Place rinsed meat chunks in an large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Pour the orange juice and vinegar over the meat, and adding 1 cup of water plus enough to cover meat.  Add a teaspoon of salt and set over high heat. Once it comes to a boil bring the heat down to medium and let it simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until most liquid has cooked off and the meat is thoroughly cooked and has rendered most of its fat.

Meanwhile, remove stems from chiles, make a slit down their sides and remove their seeds and veins. Place them in a bowl, barely cover them with 3 cups boiling hot water and let them sit and rehydrate for about 15 minutes. Place chiles and 1½ cup of their soaking liquid in the blender along with the garlic, parsley, oregano, cumin, black pepper, vinegar, and puree until your chile sauce is smooth.

Once the meat is ready, place it in a bowl along with any remaining cooking broth. Once it is cool enough to handle, shred it with your hands or using two forks. Drain shredded pork on paper towels.

In the same large cooking pot, heat your fat of choice over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until just translucent, then add the pork back in and heat throughout.

Next, pour in the chile sauce and coriander and let it season and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Toss in the shredded meat along with any of its remaining cooking broth. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon salt and let it cook, stirring often, until the meat has absorbed most of the chile sauce, which will have thickened, seasoned and changed color to a much darker tone.  It will take around 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with warmed flour tortillas on the side. You can also use the chilorio in tortillas and roll them into burritos. Below are tortillas and refried beans, along with your choice of guacamole, chilorio, sour cream and pico de gallo.  Doesn't get much better than this!

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