This recipe brings me nice memories!  It was featured in my favorite cooking show of all times, David Rosengarten‘s Taste, that aired on the FoodTV from 1994 to 2002.  Because of this particular episode I bought my first clay pot, a nice unglazed Romertopf, that unfortunately ended up shattered to pieces during a move.   This recipe, low in fat but full of flavor, was one of the first dinners I cooked for Phil when we were dating.  As I said, it brings me wonderful memories…  😉

(from David Rosengarten)

3 dried ancho chilies
2 chipotles canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
pinch of ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 boneless loin of pork (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 medium white onion, very thinly sliced

Toast the dried ancho chilies by putting them in a preheated 200°F oven for 3 minutes, do not let them burn. Remove the toasted chilies from the oven and open them up. Remove and discard the seeds and stems. Place the chilies in a bowl and cover with very hot tap water.

When chilies are soft (after about 15 minutes), remove them from the water and place them together with the chipotles in the work bowl of a food processor, along with the garlic, oil, cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper. Pulse to make a rough paste. Rub the paste all over the pork loin with your fingers. Cover the rubbed pork and refrigerate for 8 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before you want to start cooking.

Make a bed of half the sliced onion in the clay pot. Lay the marinated pork loin over it. Cover the pork with the remaining onion. Do not add any liquid.   If your clay pot is unglazed, you may have to soak it (or only its lid) in water before using.  Follow the instructions for your clay pot, but almost any brand needs to go in a cold oven, so place it in the oven and turn it to 300F.  Once it reaches the temperature,  cook, covered for one hour. Do not open the pot. After one hour, remove the roast from the oven. Let it sit in its broth, still covered, for 10 minutes. Slice the roast thinly and serve.

“Life is a matter of taste…”  ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

I cannot praise this recipe enough!  The color in the photo was not enhanced by Photoshop or any other trick.   The chilies give the onions an amazing red/orange tint, and the clay pot locks in moisture, so that the dish creates its own juices.   I left the onions whole around the side of the serving dish, because Phil prefers to avoid them, but you could remove them together with some of the cooking juices and process, making a spicy sauce to spoon over the meat. Thickening it with some type of starch would be optional. I like this preparation on the lighter side.    Whatever you choose to do, the key is to cut the pork in very thin slices.  They will be tender and juicy, almost as if you brined the meat before cooking.

I’ve made this exact recipe without marinating for several hours, and it was still delicious, but if you have 8 hours to spare, do as David suggests.  He knows what he’s talking about…

Almost ready to go into the oven….

I now use a glazed clay pot, and actually prefer this kind because it cleans better.  Neat freak that I am, using cast iron pans and clay pots that should not be washed with soap and water is a bit of a problem.    So, a glazed pot suits me much better!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Panmarino

TWO YEARS AGO:  A Classic Roast Chicken (still the most popular blog post in this site!)

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