I dedicate this post to Richard and his Baby Lady, as they did not only inspire me to create this dish, but also taught me the techniques as well as donated the chiles used. And I also think they’d enjoy it. Do you like chiles? Then you will love this dish, because it has three different kinds of chiles in it: ancho, guajillo, and chipotles. Ancho chiles are soaked to make them pliable and then stuffed with a mixture of slow-cooked pork shoulder with guajillo and onions. The stuffed ancho is then baked and finally served with a sauce of chipotle, sourcream, corn tortillas, and guacamole. This turned out to be a really nice dish with many layers of flavor. I cooked the pork sous-vide, but you could also cook it in the oven. Here’s what I did…
For 2 servings
300 grams (.66 lb) pork shoulder
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp lard
2 guajillo chiles (or other chiles of your choice, e.g. New Mexico or Pasilla)
2 big acho chiles, or 4 smaller ones
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp oil for greasing the baking dish
2 Tbsp pickled chipotles
1 tsp honey
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp slivered almonds, lightly toasted
sourcream (or Mexican crema if you can find it)
Cut the pork into cubes and season with salt.
Brown the pork in the lard over high heat…
…until browned on all sides. Do this quickly to prevent the pork from drying out — the browning is only for flavor development.
Remove the pork from the pan with a strainer.
Sauté the onion in the same pan over medium heat until it is soft and fragrant, 5-10 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Deglaze the pan with 60 ml (1/4 cup) of water.
Scrape with a wooden spatula to include all of the browned bits.
Add the meat back to the pan, including the juices that leaked out of it.
Add oregano, coriander, and cumin.
Put the guajillo and ancho chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
Weigh the chiles down with a plate and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
The chiles should now be soft and pliable.
Remove the stems and seeds from the guajillo chiles.
Put the guajillo chiles in the blender with about 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the soaking water.
Blend until you obtain a smooth puree.
Add the guajillo puree to the pork.
Add the tomato paste as well.
Stir to mix. If cooking sous-vide, allow to cool to room temperature. If cooking in the oven, put in an oven dish, cover with aluminum foil, and cook at 150ºC/300ºF until the meat is tender (start checking after 1 hour).
Vacuum seal once cool, then cook sous-vide for 48 hours at 57ºC/135ºF.
After the meat has been cooked sous-vide, drain and reserve the juices. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the meat with salt.
Carefully remove the seeds and ribs from the soaked ancho chiles. By all means leave in the ribs if you like it hot. Stuff the anchos with the pork mixture and arrange them in an oiled baking dish.
Bake the stuffed ancho chiles in the oven for 20 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF or until heated through. (If you like you could cover them with a nice layer of grated cheese that will melt.)
Put the pickled chipotles (including pickling liquid and condiments) in the blender.
Add the reserved juices from cooking the pork, as well as the honey and 60 ml (1/4 cup) of water.
…to obtain a puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Heat up the chipotle sauce in the microwave.
To make guacamole, puree the avocado with a fork. Add lime juice, salt, and diced tomato, and mix.
Once the anchos are baked, serve them on preheated plates, cover them with the chipotle sauce, guacamole, and corn tortillas. Garnish with the slivered almonds and cilantro.
Chicken Cordon Bleu is really good if made from scratch with good chicken (or pork or veal), good ham, and good cheese. It is quite different from something store-bought where the ham, cheese, and chicken are probably all of the ‘processed’ variety.