Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dried Chile Red Sauce - Pierna Roja

This fabulous dish showcases the deep, rich flavors of dried chiles. Ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers and is a staple in Mexican cooking. They are a deep red color, sometimes blackish-brown and wrinkled.

Pasilla chiles are dried chilaca chiles which are commonly used in the making of moles. They are long and dark colored.

Both chiles add a spicy, rustic touch while not being overly hot. Dried chiles are often rehydrated in boiling water for 10 minutes and then pureed in a blender.

Here, once again, pork shoulder is cut into 1 inch cubes and simmered in water for about an hour until tender.

Wash the chiles and remove seeds and stems. Place in a saucepan, bring water to boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. When the chiles have rehydrated, place in blender with cinnamon, Mexican oregano, cumin, garlic, onion, and cilantro.

Toss the sauce into the pork pot. Bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer for 30 minutes or until pork is tender.

The smells from the simmering red chile sauce really fill up the kitchen. It is quite mouth-watering. I prepared homemade corn tortillas and added chile powder to the masa to give the tortilla a little color and bite. Serve with raw chopped white onion for crunch and fresh ripped cilantro.

So good, so tasty, Pierna Roja!

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