Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mexican Tinga Poblana

This is an absolute favorite that my friend Nicole made for us recently.  I love it because of its many uses.  Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!  If you can't find Mexican Chorizo (they have a great soy chorizo at Trader Joe's), use another spicy sausage but add 2 tsp smoked paprika with the cumin.  Chipotle chiles are smoked as well as dried.

Serves 6 - 8

Tinga Poblana

4 dried chipotle chiles
3lb plum tomatoes, halved
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
8oz Mexican chorizo or other spicy sausage
3lb pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 in cubes
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
3 thyme sprigs
1 tsp dried oregano
about 1 cup chicken stock or water
brown sugar, to taste (optional)

To Serve

2 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 cup sour cream
6oz mild soft white cheese
about 2 TBSP coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Cover the chipotles with just-boiled water and leave to soak. Put the tomatoes, cute side up, in a roasting pan where they fit in a single layer.  Drizzle with oil, season, and sprinkle with sugar.  Roast for 50 minutes, until soft, slightly scorched, and shrunken.

2. Remove the sausage from its casing and break into pieces.  Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large fry9ing pan and saute the sausage pieces until well colored.  Put into a flameproof Dutch oven, retaining the fat in the pan.  Brown the pork well in this fat to a really good color (cook the pork in batches so the temperature stays high and you are frying, not steaming, the meat).

3. Remove the meat and put it in the Dutch oven, leaving behind any fat.  Add a little more oil to the frying pan if needed and fry the onions to a good deep gold.  Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2 minutes more, then add to the Dutch oven with the thyme, oregano, seasoning, and enough stock or water to cover.  Simmer, partially covered, over a low heat until just tender (about 50 minutes).

4. Fifteen minutes before the cooking time is up, add the tomatoes and juices into the Dutch oven.  Remove the chiles from their liquid, take off the stems, and seed.  Coarsely chop he flesh and add this, with the soaking liquid, to the casserole.  Gently cook for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning; you may want to add a little brown sugar.

5. To serve, slice the avocados and squeeze lime juice all over them.  Season.  Put the meat into a large bowl (or leave it in the casserole) and spoon over the sour cream, add the avocado slices, then sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro.

You can serve over rice, eggs, on a tortilla, or (my particular favorite) with polenta.  Pan fried slices or warm piles are delicious!!!


~ Kate