From Dish Danielle:
As mentioned in my previous post, I spent an enchanting week out in Santa Fe last month with fellow dish Amelia. My taste buds were inundated with the regional culinary traditions of Northern New Mexico as I ate more chile in the matter of 6 days than I had in my entire life. Nose running and table slapping, I quickly fell in love with these earthy yet spicy southwestern flavors, and truly began to understand what Amelia’s fuss has been all about.
Dish A & I have been meaning to curate a large-scale dinner together for a while now, and once back in Brooklyn, we decided it was about dang time. Now that I’d had my crash course in the robust flavors of NM, we thought it only appropriate to expand my culinary horizons and base a menu off of these tastes and traditions; I, the pupil, Amelia, the seasoned veteran.
Here is a recipe for Red Chile Sauce and a Pork Tamale filling–a quick & dirty pulled pork recipe that will be stuffed into SLD’s following post, Amelia’s (hot) tamales. These are several components that will be a part of our upcoming New Mexican dinner. I hope you enjoy, and wish me luck!
(brief sidenote: Amelia & I randomly met a New Mexican last night while out on the town. He too professed his love and addiction to the coveted chiles. He ranted and raved, clenched his fists and closed his eyes for a few moments, paying what I only understood to be a brief homage to a sorely missed flavor from his hometown. New Mexicans are effing serious about their chile: to the bone).
For the Red Chile:
4-6 tbsp dried ground NM red chile
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried cumin
a couple liberal pinches salt
a grind of pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon lard (just cause I had it around)
4 c stock
1 yellow or white onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 c water, or more, as needed.
Whisk 1 tbsp of the flour into the red chile in a bowl, set aside. In saucepan, heat oil and lard over medium heat. When lard is melted evenly sprinkle the other tbsp flour, and whisk to develop a roux. When it turns golden, add a touch more oil to keep it loose and sweat garlic and onions until translucent, which will happen quickly. Add chile and flour mixture. A paste will form. Stir briskly and add stock a bit at a time. Cook for a few minutes and add oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper. Turn heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 45 minutes -1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add water at evenly spaced intervals, since sauce will be reducing and melding. You’re aiming for a thickened sauce that’s not at all see-through. You’ll know when it’s done when the aroma of red chile’s permeates your entire apt.
(NOTE: We’re using this sauce for the pork tamale filling, but you can put it on ANYthing. Eggs, as pictured above, (yum), or any meat will be happy to be smothered in it.)
This recipe yields about 3-4 cups
For the Pork:
2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed of fat, room temp.
2 tbsp dried ground red chile
oil for searing
red chile sauce
Once you’ve got your sauce simmering you can deal with the pork. Preheat your oven to 280. Pat it dry and rub down with the salt & chile. (you could rub it with the chile prior to getting the sauce going—giving it more time to take hold of the meat). Place dutch oven over a high flame and add the oil. Once the oil is about smoking, drop the pork on in. Sear on all sides for 20-30 seconds (or so) each.
Add 2 cups of the red chile to the pork (it does not have to be finished), turn oven down to 225, and cook for 1.5-2hrs.
Check it about half way through, and flip meat over. Once it’s cooked and cooled slightly, drain the liquid and set aside, skim as much fat as possible as it cools. Place pork on a cutting board and tear apart using 2 forks. Toss pulled meat back in pot and add a ladle full of chile, (you can use the liquid you just took out of the pork, which is now deliciously porky red chile sauce). You don’t want it to be soupy, or too gooey. Your end result should be be dry enough to be clump-able—it needs to hold its shape. Finally, place pot over low flame, leaving it uncovered to dry the filling out a bit/really incorporate the chile sauce. Reserve for future tamale making…
to be continued…