Inspiration struck last week. Why not celebrate some of the cuisine of the indigenous peoples of America? I knew there would be truckloads (literally) of corn at the farmer's market, just waiting to be eaten. But what to go with good 'ol maize?
And then I found a recipe for Pueblo Indian Pork Roast. I got super excited because not only did it include lots of normally yummy spices, but it also included hot chiles and CHOCOLATE. Oh my god. CHILES AND CHOCOLATE ON A PORK ROAST! That's what it sounded like in my head. I have never been so glad that I ditched the idea of making clam chowder and went digging for other things.
Pueblo Indian Pork Roast (from The Gutsy Gourmet)
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 1/2 cups chopped onion
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-4 dried juniper berries, crushed (**NOTE: I used 2 teaspoons of gin. Same diff.**)
-1/2 teaspoons coriander
-1 bay leaf
-4 large ripe tomatoes, quartered, seeded
-1 1/4 cups water
-2/3 cups cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon Ground New Mexican red chile
-1 dried medium-hot New Mexican red chile, crushed (**NOTE: I used dried, finely chopped Japones chiles, plus a couple dashes of cayenne. It was perfect heat.**)
-2 teaspoons salt
-1 oz square unsweetened chocolate, grated
-4 lb To 5 lb pork rib roast (**NOTE: Naturally, Meijer didn't have what I wanted, like always. Instead, I got a hefty boneless center cut (?) loin. This meant that I had only about a 2 hour cooking time to get the internal temp around 170. Bam!**)
1. Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan and saute onions in it over medium heat until soft. Add garlic, juniper berries, coriander seed and bay leaf and saute for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add tomatoes, water,vinegar, honey, ground and crushed chile and salt. Simmer, covered,30 minutes. Add chocolate and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until fairly thick.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Place roast fat side up in a roasting pan and baste generously with the sauce. Roast for about 3 hours (or until internal temp is around 170-175), basting occasionally with sauce and pan drippings. Let roast sit for 10 minutes in a warm place before carving. Slice and spoon additional sauce over each portion.
-Serves 6 very generously
Verdict: OH MY GOD. SO AMAZING. The pork loin was so soft and velvety, and the sauce was just incredible and complex. It went really well with fresh, sweet corn on the cob. And, if you're in Wisconsin and about to make this, you should definitely grab a New Glarus Unplugged "Enigma." It is a sour cherry-bourbon flavored beer that perfectly complemented this meal.
Thank you, Pueblo Indians.