To say that I have been into braising meats lately is an understatement. I am obsessed. Throwing delicious things into a pot to stew together for hours until the flavors are blended and soaked into soft juicy meat? Yep. Sign me up. This dish comes together quickly but be prepared to make a little bit of a mess in the kitchen. Trust me, it's worth it.
1.5 pounds of pork loin, cubed (or another cut that is good for braising)
5 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
5 dried cayenne chiles, stemmed and seeded
5 large tomatoes
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 bottle of beer (I would recommend avoiding anything too hoppy. The cooking process will concentrate the beer's bitterness. No IPAs!)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly toast the chiles in a dry deep dutch oven for about 30 seconds per side. Don't walk away during this process because they can burn quickly. They should become fragrant but not blackened. Pull them off the heat and set them aside.
Add canola oil to the same dutch oven, enough to coat the bottom. Add roughly chopped onions, tomatoes and garlic. Simmer over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 5-10 minutes. Add the beer and chiles. Let simmer for another 10 minutes until the chiles are soft.
In batches, slowly add of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the puree back into the dutch oven. Add the water, spices, salt, vinegar and pork. Cover the dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Let cook for 3-4 hours or until the pork is soft and delicious. I would say this recipe serves 4-6, but I only needed to feed two and I made many dishes later using this pork (on tacos, in rice and as empanada filling).