Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Costillas de Puerco en Chile Colorado Con Nopales (Mexican Pork Rib and Cactus Red Stew)

I usually lately don't post on a daily basis, but this week I may be posting daily depends, because we have so much cactus and down here in California it is very very plentiful right now, a good friend keeps giving us bags of cactus pads from her plant.

So yesterday I grilled some you can check the post "Nopales Asados", and this morning I made a simple "Nopales Con Huevos" (Cactus and Egg) by cutting the leftover grilled nopales, and heating them and oil and fried them with some minced onion and added beaten eggs with salt and pepper to make a scramble I ate with tortillas.

Today is day 2 of my Nopales lol. and I made a Mexican Pork and Cactus stew in a sauce we call "salsa de chile colorado" (red chile sauce?) this is a type of master sauce used in Mexican cookery for all sorts of dishes (enchiladas, stewing other meats, making certain soups, etc.) Today I used it to stew some pork ribs with cactus. It is a delicious marriage near and dear to me. Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and cooking procedures this meal is almost a one pot meal with some corn tortillas and has your meat and veggies. I was able to make this delicious stew in less than an hour.

Main Ingredients:
-2 1/2 lbs. pork spare ribs
-salt and pepper to taste -water (enough to barely cover pork)

Ingredients for the sauce:
-8 dried Chile Californias (if you want it not spicy or for spicy use 8 dried "Chile Guajillos" or a blend of both) sliced open and de-seeded and veined
-2 dried "Chiles Pasillas"sliced open and de-seeded and veined
-2 ripe roma tomatoes cut small slits on skin downwards
-water (enough to cover dried chiles)
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
-1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional)
-1/2 onion peeled
-2 cloves garlic peeled

Ingredients to prep. cactus:
-14 cleaned cactus pads julienned (about 2 lbs?) -water (enough to boil cactus) -1/4 onion
-2 cloves garlic

Main Ingredients Directions:
(1) Clean and wash your pork, and cut it into pieces. Now throw in a pot, season liberally with salt and pepper, add enough water to BARELY cover, and bring to a boil on high uncovered, leave it like that until all water reduces, the pork will render some fat, and start browning, lower heat to medium high. Stir occasionally.
Making the Sauce Directions:
(2) Meanwhile while pork is boiling uncovered heat 1 medium pot with some water, and 1 large one half-way with water to a boil, leave the large one alone you will use it to prep. your cactus.

(3) When small medium pot boils, add de-seeded, and viened dried chiles and 2 tomatoes, bring to a boil, then allow to rest for 10 minutes.
(4) After 10 minutes, blend in a blender with the water you soaked it in along with onion, garlic, cumin, black pepper, cloves, chicken bouillon.

(5) Strain the sauce directly into the pot where the pork ribs were boiling which by now the water should be gone and they should be browned, strain it, pushing with a spoon to get as much as you can through the strainer, add more water through the strainer to get more out of it. Be sure the pork is slightly covered by the sauce, allow to boil on medium heat and add salt to taste.

Prepping the cactus pads directions:
(6) By now you should have a medium large pot boiling with 1/4 onion and 2 garlic cloves.

(7) Now have you cactus pads cleaned with spines removed, julien them into strips. (I simply pile all of them and julienne them then cut those julienne s in half to have medium sized strips)

(8) Add the cactus and boil uncovered for 10 minutes, drain them, discard onion and garlic. set aside. DO NOT rinse them, just drain them.
Directions for putting the dish together
(9) Add the prepped drained cactus to the pot of pork boiling in the sauce, and allow to boil together an additional 5 minutes.
(10) Enjoy with corn tortillas and some refried beans if you'd like.
I know it seems like a lot but you can multi-task and get everything done in under an hour and you'll have this special tasty dish :) You can buy the cactus pads already peeled, cleaned, and cut. You can just boil them, but like I said the one's I got were from a friends plant.

I wasn't able to take lots of detailed pictures since I was making this on my own.