This recipe came from the newspaper which said they got it from America’s Test Kitchen. It purports to be a less spicy version of a Goan dish. It’s still pretty spicy. Of course, I have no experience (that I know of) with Goan cooking, so maybe it’s so very hot that this is tame by comparison. You should feel free to use less of the hot components. This is a longish low bake in the oven. I did bake it, but a slow cooker would be good too. Make it on the weekend. Your house will smell good, and if you make it in the amount described, there will be leftovers for lunch.  

The ingredients:

3 lb. (or so) boneless pork butt;

4 dried guajillo chiles;

1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger;

3 tablespoons chopped garlic;

1 cup diced onion;

1/2 cup cider vinegar;

2 tablespoons regular oil; 

1 tablespoon paprika;

1 tablespoon ground cumin;

2 teaspoons salt;

1 teaspoon black pepper;

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper;

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon;

1/2 teaspoon cardamom;

1/4 teaspoon cloves;

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

And some water. Yes I know this is a long list but many of the items are ground spices. 

I started by stemming and seeding the chiles. I found a package of guajillo chiles at the New Pioneer Co-op which means you should be able to get them at a regular (as opposed to specialty) grocery store. I cut the chiles up into smallish squares with scissors (they’re tough to cut up with a knife) and put the pieces into a cup. I boiled water and added 1/2 cup to the chile pieces. I let that sit for 10 minutes. 
Those of you with microwaves can put the pieces and water in the microwave until the mixture is steamy and then let it sit.  

Next, I prepped and chopped the onion; prepped and chopped the garlic and sliced the ginger. I don’t peel ginger. You can if you like. 

After the guajillos had been softening for 10 minutes, I dumped them into the food processor along with the ginger, garlic, salt, pepper and all of the ground spices. 

I turned the oven on to 325 degrees.

I zizzed up the mixture and then added another 1/2 cup of water (just tap water).

I ended up with a sort of spicy slurry. If you want to tone it down, reduce or eliminate the cayenne and reduce the number of guajillos. 

The recipe called for adding 2 teaspoons of loose (dry) black tea. Which I did and I don’t think it made an impact at all. If you want to add loose black tea, be my guest.  

Next, I put the oil in a Dutch oven and added the onions. I cooked the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they were sort of soft. 

Next, I emptied the contents of the food process into the Dutch oven with the onions and stirred the mixture over medium heat until everything was mixed and fragrant. 

Then I plopped the pork on top. I rolled the pork over so it was all covered (to some degree) with the sauce. 

I used a cut of pork called fresh ham roast. It’s a shoulder or butt cut. Sometimes these cuts are called butt roast or shoulder roast or fresh ham or picnic ham.  The term “ham” does not denote curing. It appears to have to do with a part of the pig. 

These cuts are not tender (in contrast to pork tenderloin), and they take some time to cook and break down.

 I emptied the last of the food processor contents on top of the meat, put a lid on the Dutch oven and put it in the oven.

After an hour, I stirred the stuff around, flipped the meat over and stirred in about 1/3 cup of cider vinegar. 

Here it is about 2 hours later. It was done when I could pull the meat apart. 

Which I did. I removed the few pieces of fat that were lying around in the pot being unappetizing. I added 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons more of vinegar to loosen up the spice mixture a bit. 

Here it is in the bowl. We served it with rice. Some kind of Indian bread (naan for instance) would be good.

I made spinach with scallions, an Indian-ish side dish which was a nice contrast to the pork. (The recipe is somewhere on the Mearskitchen blog if you are interested.) And salad and berries with yogurt.