Guajillo Pork and Potatoes

I’ve never been a huge fan of pork, but living here in pig-obsessed France, I’m starting to come around.

When I was in Texas earlier this month, I ate something that has put me squarely on the pork-eating side of the road: Pulled Pork Nachos, from my brother’s restaurant, Rooster’s Roadhouse in Denton.

I picked the tender, smoked pieces of meat off of those tortilla chips until they were all gone. Then I returned to Paris thinking about cooking pork.

So I went to my butcher and asked him for some pork shoulder, which he happily gave me, already cut up into nice little pieces.

Then I found a recipe in Rick Bayless’ newest book, “Mexican Everyday,” that I thought would be just perfect.

This couldn’t be easier – just get out your slow cooker and let it do the work. You can eat this with tortillas and make soft tacos, serve it in a bowl with some pico de gallo, or use it as stuffing for enchiladas or quesadillas. I picked the potatoes out of this the second night, and used them to make a frittata, with red and green peppers and cheddar cheese.

Guajillo Pork and Potatoes

6 medium red skin potatoes, cubed into 2-inch pieces
1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4-inch pieces
8 medium dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
6-8 garlic cloves, smashed and left whole
1 onion, rough chopped in large pieces
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Cilantro, for garnish

1. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onions, and cook until the onions become translucent, about five minutes.

2. Add the pork and sear on all sides.

3. Put the potatoes on the bottom of a slow-cooker and top with the pork/onion/garlic mixture.

4. Toast the guajillo chilies on a comal or cast-iron skillet turned to medium-high. Be careful — this will only take about 10 seconds on each side. Use a spatula to flatten the chiles as they cook (otherwise, they’ll curl up).

5. Put the toasted chiles into a Cuisinart, along with the tomatoes, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and sea salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Pulse until smooth.

6. Add mixture to slow-cooker, and gently stir this around so it’s well incorporated. Note: you want to keep the potatoes on the bottom, so be careful as you do this.

7. Cover with the lid, and turn the slow-cooker on high for 6 hours. 
The meat will be so tender that you’ll be able to shred it by pushing it with the back of a large spoon.