This tender pork shoulder coated in chile sauce is worth the wait.Gather Journal Ancho-Braised Pork
A brief prep lays the foundation for a very leisurely braise—about four episodes of whatever TV show you are catching up on—when the real transformation happens: a melding of flavors, a rendering of meat into fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Have something starchy on hand (like corn tortillas or mashed potatoes) to sop up that sauce.
serves 6 to 8
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle meat with ¾ tsp salt and let stand at room temperature while making purée.
Soak anchos in boiling water to soften, about 15 minutes. Transfer chiles to a blender with a slotted spoon with ½ cup chili soaking liquid (reserving the remainder). Blend with onion, garlic, brown sugar, chipotles, tomato paste, cloves, and remaining tsp salt. Purée until very smooth.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add purée and cook, stirring, until it turns a rich brick color, about 8 minutes. Stir in remaining soaking liquid and cocoa. Add pork and cinnamon and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in oven, basting occasionally, until very tender, 3½ to 4½ hours.
Skim fat from sauce. If sauce is thin, transfer meat to a bowl and loosely cover. Simmer sauce until thickened. Ease meat from bones with a fork and pour sauce over.