Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dinner with a Southwestern Flair

I've had this recipe in my notebook for many years, but it looked too complicated to make. But then I looked closer at it the other day, and realized that it's really pretty easy. I started it Thursday, by soaking the chilies, and then blending them in the blender and putting the mixture in with the meat. Then on Friday, all I had to do was pour it all in a baking dish, cover it and cook. The smell of the cooking meat was divine, and there was nothing else to do but make the Spanish rice and heat the tortillas. I'm putting the original recipe below, though I actually halved it for DH and me. There were plenty of leftovers for lunch.

For great information about dried chiles, go to Cook's Thesaurus: Dried Chiles.

Carne Adovado

7 - 8 whole dried red chile pods, seeded and deveined
2 cloves garlic
2 t dried cilantro
1 t salt
2 pounds boneless pork butt, sirloin, or shoulder, sliced thin
Choose the dried chiles for your dish. They range in "heat" from mild to very hot…so ask your merchant to point the way. I use a mixture of California (Anaheim) and New Mexico red chilies so that I have a little mild and a little medium mixed together.
Prepare the chiles by slitting or cracking them open and removing the seeds and veins. The seeds and veins are what make the chiles hot, so you should clean the peppers according to how hot you wish them to be. Place the chile skins in a bowl and add enough hot tap water to cover. Allow them to sit for 1 hour and then drain, reserving the liquid. Place the pepper skin in a blender and add enough of the water to bring the total amount in your machine to one pint. Add the garlic, oregano, and salt. Blend until thick and smooth.

Place the sliced pork in a large zip-top plastic bag and pour in the chile sauce. Mix the meat and marinade and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 350F. Place meat and marinade in a covered casserole and bake for one hour. You may wish to drain some of the "juice" after 35-40 minutes. The longer you cook it, the softer the meat gets - so even two hours will work, too.

Serve with flour or corn tortillas, along with your choice of accompaniments, such as grated cheddar or jack cheese, sour cream, diced onion, salsa, avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.
Spanish rice goes well with this dish.

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