Hatch chiles are grown in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico and are cultivars developed in the area over more than a century. The are only grown seasonally, and the season is NOW!
15 dried hatch chiles
9 dried arbol chiles
3-4 pound boneless pork butt
two heads of garlic, peeled
four teaspoons cumin
six teaspoons coriander
one tablespoon oregano
juice of two limes
juice of one grapefruit
two bay leaves
one cup beef stock
half cup oude genever
Hatch chiles. Don Enrique is an excellent brand of dried chiles.
Other ingredients for the chile sauce (bay leaves don’t get blended in, though).
Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles, and rehydrate by immersing them in boiling water and then turning the heat off to let them steep for about 20-30 minutes. Put them in the blender with the steeping water.
Put in all the other chile sauce ingredients and some salt.
Blend the everloving fucke out of itte to make the fucken chile sauce.
Boomsma oude genever.
Put the chile sauce, genever, and beef stock in a dutch over and bring to a boil.
Pork butt. As shown here, you want to trim most of the cap fat off the outside, leaving plenty of fat in the meat. If you were going to roast, smoke, or BBQ a pork butt, you would want to leave the cap fat on, cooking it with the cap on top, so that it melts and drips through, moistening the meat, but then dripping through and out of the meat. When braising, all of the fat is staying in the final product, so you want to tune the amount properly.
Put the butt in the pot with the bay leaves, cover and simmer on low, turning the meat over every half hour. When it is pliable enough to break it into a few pieces, you can do that to speed the cooking a bit and also make it cook through more evenly. It takes about one hour per pound.
Remove the meat from the pot and turn the heat up to begin to reduce the sauce.
Reducing sauce. You want to ultimately have it thicken up nicely.
Instead of queso fresco for garnish, we asked our cheese monger what he thought might pair nicely with red chile pork butt, and he recommended this beauty: Montealva, an aged goat cheese from Andalucia. As you’ll see later, the drier center crumbles up nicely like queso fresco, while the more decomposed outer layer just under the rind provides little chunks of gooey goodness. Needless to say, this has a much stronger flavour than queso fresco, and it worked out really well on the tacos. Although the first few I made, I put on more than was necessary (going on my experience with queso fresco).
Shred the pork.
Sauce thickening nicely! I guess it’s the starches from the chiles that make it thicken? Salt it to taste.
Freshly made tortillas, as usual from Los Tacos No. 1.
Put the shredded pork back into the sauce and mix well to incorporate. If you have the patience, it is great to let the pork/sauce mixture “meld” overnight in the fridge, as it is even better reheated the next day. This is what I always do when making tamales.
Little guac. Note the cooleasse pig plates!
PIGGY GOING ON!!!!!!!!!!!
Ready to eat!!!
Next batch I left off the pico di gallo.
This was actually plenty of cheese, given the relative strength of the Montealva compared to queso fresco, which is basically partially dried small-curd ricotta.