A versatile braise that is slightly sweet and smoky, and just a bit spicy, this dish begins with boneless pork shoulder (also called Boston butt) cut into large hunks, and cooked with chipotle peppers, which are smoked jalapenos often packed in a tangy red adobo sauce. Customize the heat with the number of chiles you use, and add the sauce that clings to them. The meat is also seasoned with lemon and orange juice, oregano, crushed tomatoes, and beer. It cooks for 1½ hours until it is fork tender. Shred it and serve with long-grain white rice and soft tortillas — or potatoes, polenta, or another starch — or use it as a taco filling.
Chipotle-braised pork shoulder
|4||pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)|
|Salt, to taste|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|3||cloves garlic, chopped|
|2||chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or more to taste, chopped|
|2||tablespoons chopped fresh oregano|
|Juice of 2 lemons|
|Juice of 2 oranges|
|1||can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes|
|12||ounces light beer or lager|
|½||cup chopped fresh cilantro|
1. Set oven at 350 degrees.
2. Cut the pork into 2-inch chunks. Sprinkle with salt.
3. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Working in small batches, brown the pork for 3 to 5 minutes on a side. Transfer to a plate. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon oil from the pan.
4. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Return browned pork to the pan. Add the chipotle peppers with the sauce that clings to them, oregano, lemon and orange juice, tomatoes, and beer. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.
5. Cook for 1½ hours, or until the pork is tender when pierced with a fork. Let the pork sit in the sauce for 15 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle.
6. Using 2 forks, shred the pork. Return it to the sauce and bring to a boil to reheat it. Sprinkle with cilantro.Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at email@example.com