USA, Part II: Pueblo Indian Pork Roast

Back in January, I had this grand idea to do a 4th of July "Coast to Coast" themed meal for the 50 Countries Challenge-USA Edition. I planned to do San Francisco sourdough and New England Clam Chowder. It sounded so brilliant and delicious. And then I remembered that the 4th of July takes place in July. Which is hot. And really, who makes clam chowder in the middle of the summer? So, it was back to the drawing board.

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
-1/2cup honey
-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.

Delicious, yes. Ugly, yes.


Andrea said...

Mmm this sounds amazing! I love chocolate & chilies YUM! This sounds so good, I have a pork roast in my freezer. Me thinks it may become this gem of a dish!

vocalista001 said...

I am so going to make this.

It is not ugly... when you get the yellow of the corn next to it!

Heather said...

Andrea and Vocalista - I'm so glad you're both going to make this! It's a winning recipe, for sure. :)

Lo said...

Now THIS looks like the sort of pork roast I could really put my mouth around. I'm wondering now what it might be like if it marinated in the sauce... yum!

Of course, the cherry-bourbon beer doesn't sound half-bad either!

Heather said...

Lo-- The pork loin was so soft as-is, I doubt that it would need to be marinated (though it certainly would taste good). However, I definitely think that tougher cuts of meat would benefit highly from using this as a marinade! I think the spiciness would probably break things down quickly.

Greg and I are both so in love with this sauce that we're trying to figure out other uses for it! :)

megan said...

this looks awesome! I really want to try it. I have no idea what juniper berries are, and we don't have gin...any suggestions?

Heather said...

Megan - Juniper berries are what's used to make (at least some) gin. I think I read somewhere that you can substitute crushed bay leaves or caraway seeds in place of gin/juniper berries. It won't taste the same, exactly, but it won't taste bad either. I hope you like it as much as I did! :)

Carolyn said...

Sounds absolutely fabulous. Saving to my bookmarked recipes!

Ben said...

Ugly??? If by ugly you mean"totally gorgeous." This looks sooo good!

Heather said...

Why thank you, Carolyn and Ben! It is fabulous and delicious--I can't recommend making this enough.

Stine C. said...

Mmmmm that looks SO delicious. I have my roast in the oven now, and it's hard to wait for dinner, it smells wonderful. I had to skip the honey as I can't have sugar, but I added a little etythritol to the sauce to balance it and the sauce smelled and tasted nice so I hope it'll turn out well on the roast too. Thanks for a great blog and exciting recipes :)

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