Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chile Con Carne De Cerdo


Awhile back, the HT had a buy-one-get-one-free sale on Boston Butts, so I bought one and cooked it. The other one I threw into the freezer until I decided what to do with it. Since the weather is getting cooler, and since I haven't made it for a while, I decided to try a new version of chile: Chile con carne de cerdo. That's chile with pork, in case you didn't know.

So I dug that slab of meat out of the freezer a few days ago to thaw. On Friday night, it was good and ready to be seasoned, so I made a dry rub composed of about nine ingredients that I will try to list from memory: garlic powder, salt, black pepper, garam masala, coriander, Pasta Sprinkle, onion powder, paprika, cumin, and I think that's it. I fully coated the shoulder after cutting off as much of the excess fat that I could, and then I placed it in the fridge overnight.

Saturday morning, I woke up and had that pork in my dutch oven baking at 9. At about ten, I turned the meat to find that a crust had developed. I picked off a small piece, and it was good and flavorful. At 11, the other side had a crust, and the pork was stewing in its own jus so nicely. I wanted to allow the pork its own separate cooking environment to incorporate the flavors of the spice rub into the meat.

At this time, I started my chile with a finely diced mirepoix sauteed in olive oil, Salt and Pepper. After a short time, I added a chile-powder blend. I did not make my own chile powder, but rather I used a mix of 4 different types of chile powders; one somewhat smoky, one quite warm, one a bit milder, and what remained of my aleppo pepper, which is moderately warm and flavorish. Once incorporated with the vegetables, the mix formed a paste with the oils and moisture elicited from the veg. The paste cooked awhile now to meld and bloom the chile powders.

I used canned beans in my chile. I have made chile in the past with beans I cooked myself, and if I had been thinking ahead enough, which I was not, I might have put the beans to soak overnight and got them cooking in the morning. Instead I used cannellini beans, kidney beans, and mostly black beans. Several cans of diced, crushed, and whole tomatoes as well, and into the pot went the beans and tomatoes. About a can of water, some Salt, more Pasta Sprinkle, and my chile is cooking. I cooked it for an hour or so before I added it to my Boston Butt, occasionally turning the meat after shredding off what was cooked already with a big old fork. Eventually, the scapula freed itself from the meat, and it was time to eat. I gave the bone to Napoleon.

I also made spelt-and-wheat-flour tortillas. After I flatted them, I heated some olive oil in my 6-inch skillet and cooked the tortillas until they were somewhat crispy. Along with some sour cream, I heaped the chile into the tortilla. Pretty good. I am going to eat a bowl soon. Thank you, Pig. You taste good to me.

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