Pork and Potatoes with Guajillo-Ancho Sauce

For Christmas my wife Glenda presented me with Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2005). It is a lovely cookbook with simple, authentic recipes. This dish is rather loosely adapted from that book with full apologies to Mr. and Mrs. Bayless. For one thing, the original recipe calls for 6 hours of cooking in a slow cooker or braising in a Dutch oven for 3 hours. Not having a slow cooker or the 3 hours to use my Dutch oven I went to the opposite extreme and prepared the dish in my electric pressure cooker. For another, I did not have any pork shoulder roast as specified in the recipe so I used meat from the fattier end of the loin. And I made roughly a half recipe, adjusting the amount of water to ensure that it did not dry out. Except for that, it is the same dish—sort of. But then Mr. Bayless urges his readers to be creative; I hope he would approve.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces firm boiling potatoes, about 3 medium
  • 12 ounces pork loin cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 or 4 dried guajillo chiles, about ½ ounce, stemmed
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, about ½ ounce, stemmed
  • 1 small morita chile, stemmed and seeded, optional (this is a hot chile)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, about ¾ cup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water

Method

Scrub the potatoes and cut into 6 or 8 wedges depending on their size. Place in the pressure cooker vessel then add the pork.

To reduce the heat, remove the seeds from the chiles (optional). Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and toast first the guajillo then the ancho chiles for 10 to 15 seconds per side or until they are fragrant but not smoking. Remove the chiles to a blender and pulverize them. Add the garlic, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, salt, and water to the blender jar. Puree on high speed until very smooth. Pour over the meat and potatoes. Stir to combine.

Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, timed from when the pressure cooker comes to full pressure. Release the pressure according to manufacturer’s instructions. If the sauce seems thin, strain the dish into a large pot and boil down the liquid. Add the meat and potatoes to the pot, stir to warm through, check the seasoning, and serve.

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