Spicy Braised Pork: Puerco Estilo Apatzingan
The area around Apatzingan is famous for its pork. The flavor of this dish is somewhat reminiscent of the carnitas for which Michoacán is famous. Unlike carnitas, the pork is baked in the oven instead of fried in lard, and the seasoning ingredients make serving a salsa unnecessary.
2 pound piece pork shoulder (do not substitute with loin)
2 guajillo chiles, seeded, deveined and soaked in warm water until soft
2 roma tomatoes, roasted but left unpeeled
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 peppercorns, crushed
salt to taste
1 medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
1 orange, thinly sliced into rounds
1 sprig fresh marjoram or oregano
1 ½ cups white wine
Cut shallow slits into the pork and place it in a cazuela or Dutch oven. It should be fairly crowded in the pan to prevent it drying out as it cooks.
Grind the chiles, tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, peppercorns and salt into a paste in a blender, processor or molcajete and spread the paste over the meat. Top with the sliced onion and orange. Add the herb sprig and pour 1 cup wine over all.
Cover tightly and bake in a 350º oven for 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. Uncover, raise the oven temperature to 425º and bake until the top of the pork is golden.
Remove meat and keep warm. Add the remaining ½ cup wine to the pot and cook, stirring, until the sauce is reduced to the consistency of a glaze. Spread over the meat, slice and serve on a platter.
Source Article: The Cuisine of Michoacán: Mexican Soul Food