We started this dish mid-afternoon and two hours in the kitchen was a heady and heavenly mix of spices and stew. A perfect autumn meal served with warm cornbread and black beans to make for a complete meal. If there are leftovers serve the pork and molé over warm tortillas or over think cut pasta ribbons.
Pork Stewed in Guajillo Chile Molé
adapted from the Canal House Cooks every day
Note: begin 4 hours ahead of meal time; 1 hour prep; 3 hours unattended
12 whole guajillo chiles, wiped with a damp paper towel
3 cups of warm water (bring a kettle to a boil turn off)
2 cups of chicken stock
2/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted
1 tbspn ground cumin
1 tbspn dried oregano
2 tspns ground cinnamon
10 black peppercorns
1 cup raisins
4 tbspns vegetable oil
6 pounds boneless pork butt or Boston butt, cut into 1″ cubes
3 medium onions, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped (optional
Tear off the stems of the dried chiles and shake out the seeds. Heat a large cast iron skillet (or a comal if you have one). Toast the chiles in the skillet, pressing them down with tongs and turning one or twice until they are fragrant and turn a bit dakrer in color–about 30-60 seconds. It’s helpful if you open a window or turn on the oven fan as the fumes can overwhelm. Transfer the chiles to a medium bowl. Pour 2 cups of the warm water over the chiles and and set them aide to soak until soft and pliable about 30 minutes. If the chiles don’t stay submerged cover the bowl with a plate.
Next grind the spices in a coffee blender or by hand in a mortar with a pestle. Toast the spices in this same skillet until fragrant. Place the soaked chiles and 2 cups of the water into a food processor or blender with the toasted spices and raisins, puree.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the blended spice paste and fry, stirring to keep it from burning, until it comes a shade darker and is very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
Prepare the pork
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Working in batches, bown the pork all over about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl as it browns. Add the sliced onions to the pot and cook, stirring often until tender about 4-5 minutes.
Return the pork cubes and juices to the pot. Stir in the spice paste, add 2 cups of chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Bring to a simmer, cover and allow to cook over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time until the pork is fork tender, about 2-3 hours. If the stew begins to dry out add a little more stock to the stew. Serve garnished with scallions, if desired.