If I could time travel, I’d go back three or four hours before dinnertime and I would start braising meat.
(This is the best part of braising.)
After I got done eating, I’d skip forward an hour or so, until I was certain that the dishes had been done. (So many dishes.)
I guess I’d have to bring a companion. Because I’d need someone to help me eat leftovers.
Chile-Braised Pork Shoulder Tacos
from Bon Appétit, May 2011
4 large dried ancho chiles (about 3/4 ounce), stemmed, seeded
2 large dried chiles de árbol or japones chiles, stemmed, seeded
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 5-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 12-ounce bottle Negro Modelo or other dark beer
24 (or more) 6″ corn tortillas
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
chopped fresh cilantro
Place chiles in a medium bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover, and set a small plate or bowl on chiles to keep submerged. Let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving 1 cup soaking liquid.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chiles, sugar, lime juice, and 1/4 cup reserved soaking liquid in a blender. Purée chile mixture, adding more soaking liquid as needed to form a smooth paste. Season pork shoulder generously with salt and spread paste over pork. DO AHEAD: Can be rubbed 1–2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Let come to room temperature before continuing.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, coriander, cumin, and allspice. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add beer; bring to a boil. Add pork to pot; cover and transfer to oven.
Braise pork, basting occasionally with pan juices, until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
Transfer pork to a large platter. Let cool slightly. Pour pan juice mixture over pork; cover and keep warm. (Alternatively, shred the pork with 2 forks and pour pan juice mixture over pork.)
Meanwhile, working in batches, cook tortillas in a large heavy skillet over low heat until toasted, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large sheet of foil; wrap to keep warm.
Serve pork with tortillas, radishes, both salsas, pickled onions, and chopped cilantro, encouraging guests to fill and garnish tacos as desired.