January 29, 2008

Spicy Pork and Sweet Potato Chocolate Stout Braise

Soundtrack while cooking: Duke Ellington / John Coltrane S/T CD on repeat. For some reason melancholy Jazz was what I needed to hear while I cooked this.

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (SPICY!)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 pickled jalapeno pepper stemmed
1 quick pour of olive oil
2 1/2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder or a loin could work too (boneless is key)
2 beer bottles of chocolate stout (12 oz ish) total (dark beer will work too)
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed

1.Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor for 1 minute until it thickens up.

2.In a dutch oven over medium high heat toss in some olive oil - enough to coat bottom of the pan and add pork cooking for about 6 minutes browning on all sides. Remove pork from pan.

3.Add chili mixture to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in beer as well as the sugar and honey. Scrape pan to loosen browned pork bits from the bottom. Add pork back in.
Add cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer - then reduce heat, cover, and walk away.

4.Stew should cook for at least two hours! Relax and have a beer. Watch a movie, listen to records...just don't keep checking on the pot.

5.Remove pork from pan and shred into larger pieces with two forks. After cooking for two hours the pork should be tender enough to tear apart easily.

Add pork back into the pot one last time and add the sweet potatoes. Simmer for another 20 minutes to soften sweet potatoes. Discard cinnamon stick and serve in bowls or in soft taco shells.

Serves 4-6 people depending on how big your appetites are.

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