Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Chuletas de Puerco Adobados

So, Michelle came home late yesterday afternoon and it was so nice out that we decided we had to grill. I had picked up some basic Mexican fixings from Tortilleria Maya earlier in the day, so we pulled out Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico and took a gander. Michelle didn't really see anything on her first read-through, but I had a particular meat and a particular cut in mind (the pork chop), so I went right to that section of the book and quickly found Kennedy's recipe for Chuletas de Puercos Adobados (Pork Chops Seasoned with Adobo Paste), which we then altered for the grill.

Adobo sauce is one of the classic marinades of Mexican cuisine, but I'd never made it before. Kennedy recommends marinating the pork overnight if possible--like most other marinades, this is a sauce that's meant to tenderize a tougher cut of meat, after all--but we made it early yesterday evening and marinated the meat for about two hours and the results were fantastic. You need to have access to a Latin American specialty store, so that you can pick up some dried ancho chiles, but otherwise this is a very simple recipe. The only other specialty ingredient that the recipe calls for is dried Mexican oregano, but we didn't have any in stock, so we made do with Italian oregano. Philippe de Vienne has at least two different types of Mexican oregano for sale, one of which is hand-picked by an associate of his in the Yucatan (!). Next time we'll make this recipe with the real thing, and, believe me, there will be a next time.

Last night we served a chop each with rice, refried black beans, sour cream, hot corn tortillas, salsa, and chips.

4 large dried ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed
1/8 tsp cumin seeds, roasted then freshly ground
1/8 tsp dried Mexican oregano
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried
1 tbsp salt
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup mild white vinegar

6 pork chops

Put the chiles in a bowl and cover them with freshly boiled water. Put a lid on the bowl and allow them to steep until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a blender. Add the rest of the seasoning ingredients and blend into a smooth paste. Pour into a large mixing bowl.

Rinse and pat your pork chops dry. Place them in the mixing bowl with the adobo paste and toss them until they are well-coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Marinade the pork overnight, if possible. If you're short on time, 1-2 hours will do just fine.

Heat your grill. Place the pork chops on the grill and grill them about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of the pork chops.



whitewolf said...

love the recipe.gonna try it

aj kinik said...

they were really delicious--how delicious?--we had two leftover chops--michelle had hers the next day for lunch--i, on the other hand, decided to keep mine for an extra day--i knew i was going to be out late the next day and i figured a leftover pork chop with eggs and refried beans might make for an absurdly good cure for a hangover the morning after--let's just say, it didn't last that long--a certain someone made off with my treasured chop before i could get to it...