Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Estofado de Puerco Con Chocolate (Spanish Pork Stew with Chocolate)

Growing up the only meat dishes I had that had chocolate in them was the Mexican "Mole Poblano" and other dark colored "Mole" sauces my mother would prepare (whom is Mexican) which are like a type of Mexican curry (it has an array of spices, dried chiles, and includes chocolate as well, sounds odd but is a must try)

Anyways, I also grew up on Spanish and Cuban food prepared by my grandmother and honestly never had choclate in any of those dishes, but I did notice in many of the Spanish blogs I read that braised meat dishes cooked in wine, etc. sometimes included chocolate or atleast some cooks liked to do this. I thought it was very odd, but was familiar with the idea because of my mother. I always wanted to try it and during my summer break was finally able to. I originally learned this recipe from Maria's blog "Las Hambres" (the Hungers) but adjusted it to suit the ingredients more readily available to me and in my pantry as well as my families tastes. Her version is made with wild pork, and dark chocolate, etc. here is my variation :)


Ingredients:

-1 giant onion or 2 medium ones or 3-4 small ones thickly chopped
-2-3 lbs pork shoulder meat or pork spare ribs
-1 head of garlic cloves (cloves seperated but left whole)
-4 small or 2 large bay leaves
-1 teaspoonful of black peppercorns
-3 cups water
-1/4 cup vinegar
-1 cup dry white wine
-salt to taste (use about 2 tsp.)
-1/2 tablet of "Mexican Chocolate" (like Abuelita or Ibarra brand)

Directions:
(1) Get a large deep pot or pan and add the onions in one layer
(2) Add the pork meat in an even layer over the onions, season liberally with salt. Now add the garlic, black peppercorns and bay leaves in one layer
(3 ) Pour your vinegar, wine, water and olive oil. Bring to a rolling boil on high heat, cover and simmer for about 3 hours until meat is extremely tender.
(5) When meat is tender after about 3 hours. At this point add your chocolate pieces and allow to melt into the dish,
shake the pan while cooking but in a circular motion gently to make everything incorporate (just make the sauce gently swoosh and shake to emulsify sorta).
(6) Turn off heat and serve, you can enjoy it with a simple salad and some good crusty bread. Or like most things I eat over a bed of fluffy white rice enjoy!
PLEASE NOTE:
The amount of chocolate you use is to your taste, the original recipe uses 1 square of dark chocolate, I prefer Mexican chocolate such as "Chocolate Abuelita" I just like the taste, you can honestly use whatever chocolate you prefer for this, and as much as you want to your taste, just don't it over power the dish.... although honestly I used 1 whole tablet cut in 6 which is about 4 squares... it was real rich and delicious but I tasted the dish as I added, I suggest using only 1/2 a tablet. My father felt like I added to much, however my mother, little sister, and myself loved it with a whole tablet. I suggest adding 1 square at a time, like add a square or piece and let it melt into the sauce, taste it, if your satisfied don't add more, if your not then keep adding until you feel the chocolate taste or hint is just right for your preference :)

Soooo a little update about my life (you may skip):
I just started school again (yes I know early) for me it started on August 23rd, and this year seems like it's more book heavy for me than the other's and am taking a little bit more challenging courses. So I'm finding myself a little over loaded and it's barely the first week. So I may be absent from my blog for a long time, or just post less frequently or very irregularly/ at random.

I just felt like posting a recipe for my first week of school in case I don't in a very long time :)

I also wanted to share this recipe because for me it's a great dish to cook when going to school because if I'm home, this dish is pretty much just throwing everything in the pot, covering and forgetting about for 3 hours, and you can steam rice in the rice cooker while it cooks. So in between you can just leave and study in the comfort of your home and have this wonderful meal cooking for you, honestly during school I still cook, I just don't have time to blog about it always. I usually cook stuff I can throw together and leave alone while I study, or put together very quick sauteed or pan-fried dishes I can eat with rice or alone :) Honestly even if I go to school I usually never rely on fast food and quick junk snacks, I almost always take prepared meals, and if I can't cook my mother does (I live relatively close to campus) and am lucky enough to know my way in the kitchen and cook a variety because when I can't spend hours in the kitchen, I can whip up more simple stuff that can be just as satisfying as those labour intensive dishes in a short amount of time. (recently this week I've been eating a lot of mixed vegetable, meat, and rice or noodle dishes) the time consuming part is blogging which however I love :D

2 comments:

I.M. said...

I've never had chocolate in my meat, but it sounds very good and looks great. I'll have to be adventurous and try it.

Gloria said...

Sounds like a great dish. It's great to hear that you enjoy cooking. Happy school days. Take care.