Eva's Mexican Pork


Chef Pam McKinstry's friend Eva Solano makes some of the best pork we've ever eaten, moist and succulent and so tender that it can be cut with a fork. She generously shared her recipe, which relies on dried chiles and an array of aromatic spices for its rich appeal.This dish isn't spicy-hot, though you can certainly turn up the heat by including some of the chile seeds in the purée. Serve the pork with rice or mashed potatoes for a hearty, satisfying meal. And by the way, the tasty sauce is also great with baby back ribs.


6 pounds pork shoulder country-style boneless ribs (untrimmed)
1 teaspoon Chile powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 dried Ancho chiles (stemmed and seeded, about 1 ounce)
2 dried Cascabel chiles (stemmed and seeded, about 1 ounce)
1 clove garlic (peeled)
2 tablespoons white onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 whole clove
1 dried pimiento ((hot pepper))


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

Wash the ribs in cold water and pat dry. Place the ribs in a deep roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the chile powder, paprika, celery seed, onion powder, and salt, and stir to blend. Season the ribs with half of the herb mixture, then turn the ribs and season the other side with the remaining herbs. Rub the Worcestershire sauce over the ribs, coating all surfaces.

Rinse the chiles in warm water. Place them in a small saucepan and add 1-2/3 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook the chiles until they soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a blender, reserving the cooking liquid. Add the garlic, onion, salt, cumin seeds, oregano, clove, pimiento, and 1/2 cup of cold water to the blender. Process until the mixture is roughly chopped, then add half of the cooking liquid to the blender. Continue to process until the purée is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar once or twice. Add the remaining cooking liquid and blend again.

Pour half of the chile purée over the ribs, cooking all surfaces of the meat. Cover the pan tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake at 450 degrees F for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for another 1-1/2 hours.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and uncover the meat. Drain the accumulated fat from the pan. Add the remaining chile purée to the ribs and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.


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